Kartavya Path opens to the public with cultural festival 

The 2-km stretch from India Gate to Rashtrapati Bhawan was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi

September 09, 2022 10:40 pm | Updated 10:40 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Folk artists from Jharkhand performing a traditional dance at the newly-named Kartavya Path, near India Gate, a day after its inauguration as part of revamped Central Vista, in New Delhi, on September 9, 2022.

Folk artists from Jharkhand performing a traditional dance at the newly-named Kartavya Path, near India Gate, a day after its inauguration as part of revamped Central Vista, in New Delhi, on September 9, 2022. | Photo Credit: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

After 20 months of redevelopment, Kartavya Path, which was known as Rajpath till earlier this week, reopened to the public on Friday with a cultural festival.

The new look of the 2-km stretch from the India Gate to the Rashtrapati Bhawan was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday evening. Mr. Modi also unveiled the statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose at the canopy in India Gate.

Entry prohibited

Dedicated vending zones, toilets, parking areas and better lighting were added to the stretch. However, on Friday, the police personnel did not allow the street vendors to cross the barricades and enter Kartavya Path and the lawns. An official of the Central Public Works Department, which carried out the revamp, said the police had put restrictions due to the large crowd expected for the three-day cultural programme that started on Friday. The official said the vendors would be allowed into the vending zones after the festival. The vendors would not be allowed to line the road as they used to earlier, according to the Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry officials.

Devi Saran, a vendor who had been selling ice-cream at the India Gate for two decades, on Friday stood at a distance from Kartavya Path as he said he was not allowed to take his cart near the entrance. He said his father had started selling ice-cream at what was known as Rajpath 35 years ago and he took over from him 22 years ago.

“I went back to my village during the lockdown and somehow survived by taking ₹2 lakh in loan. I came back to Delhi three months ago and have been standing near Rajpath. Earlier, I used to earn ₹3,000 to ₹5,000 a day, now it is barely a few hundred rupees. It is looking very nice, but there are so many people who filled their stomachs from Rajpath and they are suffering,” he said.

Across the road, a snack-seller, Girish, was shooed away by the police when he stood too close to the entrance of Kartavya Path, where the barricades and metal detectors were in place. He did not know if he would be allowed back on the stretch he had worked on for years. “I used to make around ₹300 a day, but have not sold anything yet today. The police keep telling us to move,” he said.

Later in the evening, however, the crowds gathered to witness the festival organised by the Culture Ministry. Dancers from across the country and a drone show about the life of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose were organised.

“Earlier, I used to earn ₹3,000 to ₹5,000 a day, now it is barely a few hundred rupees” GirishSnack-seller

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