Staff Reporter

It envisages revival of tram service, restricted vehicular movement

Discussion on reasons behind the delay is scheduled at MCD meeting this Wednesday

Stretch between Red Fort and Fatehpuri Masjid will have a motorway on both sides

NEW DELHI: The ambitious plan of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi for re-development of Chandni Chowk is yet to take off with several delays bogging down the project.

A discussion on the reasons behind the delay is also scheduled at the MCD Standing Committee meeting this Wednesday.

The Rs.15-crore re-development plan conceived by the civic body almost four years ago was finally given conceptual approval by the Delhi Urban Art Commission in October this year. It envisages revival of the good old tram service and restricted vehicular movement in Chandni Chowk among other things.

According to the plan submitted by the civic body, four metre-gauge trams, each having a capacity to carry 20 people, will run on the southern carriageway of Chandni Chowk from Red Fort to Fatehpuri Masjid. There will be two tracks -- one from Red Fort to Fatehpuri Masjid and the other from Fatehpuri to Red Fort. Meanwhile, the northern carriageway of the Chandni Chowk stretch will be used for vehicular traffic from H. C. Sen Marg or from the Fatehpuri Masjid side. Traffic will not be allowed to enter from the Red Fort side.

MCD Standing Committee chairman Ram Kishan Singhal said: “We had put a short notice on various aspects of the project at the last meeting also but due to the Opposition disrupting the proceedings we could not debate on the same which is why we are taking it up again. We need to be told why the project is not starting. Chandni Chowk is a major market and being an old market its re-development plan in the light of the upcoming Commonwealth Games has a special significance.”

According to Mr. Singhal, several aspects behind the delay need to be looked into.

“At first the project was under the Deputy Commissioner of City Zone Vijay Singh and then later after his transfer the project came under the new Deputy Commissioner who was on leave and has just returned. Moreover, too many consultants have been hired for the project but the end result seems to be nothing. All we get to see are power-point presentations by them but no actual ground work has started which is a huge embarrassment. We will be seeking answers to all these questions from the concerned engineering department officials at the meeting and pulling them up if any laxity is found,” he added.

Apart from the proposed revival of tram service and restricted traffic movement, other components of the project include provisions for modern street furniture, street-lighting, modern sign boards, attractive elevations, convenient footpaths, benches and a common cable system. Once the plan is implemented, the stretch between Red Fort and Fatehpuri Masjid will have a 3.5-metre-wide motorway on both sides, besides an eight to 15-metre-wide pedestrian footpath. The stretch will have a 1.2-metre-wide street furniture strip.