Russell Market, one of the oldest markets in the city, sports a new look as the beautification project which had been taken up under the Smart City project nears completion.
“I am happy that after about 35 years, they are facelifting Russell Market. Before this smart city project, the market had many issues such as sanitation, lighting, parking, and others,” Mohammed Idrees Choudhury, general secretary of Russell Market Traders Union, said.
Mohammed Anees, who owns a vegetable shop at the market, said: “Now, things are getting better. Apart from the plaza outside, we have requested some renovation work inside the market such as painting and cleaning.”
Under the project, the Russell Market building has been painted and a plaza is under construction. Not just the market, but the 200-year-old Chandni Chowk in Shivajinagar, which also consists of St. Mary’s Basilica and a 250-year-old heritage well which was recently revived, have also undergone a makeover under the Smart City Project, MLA LAD fund, and BBMP funds.
Developed at a cost of around ₹7 crore, the plaza has modern amenities like a clock tower, fountains, toilets, parking area, lighting, and much more. ”The area desperately needed a fresh look as it was covered with garbage, encroachments, and broken infrastructure,” said Rizwan Arshad, MLA, Shivajinagar.
On March 18, ‘Shivajinagar Habba’, a cultural festival, will be organised during which the new look of Chandni Chowk will be unveiled. “The Habba celebrates the diversity of the city and brings people from different communities together. The event will include performances by famous artists, food stalls, and a host of other cultural activities,” Mr. Arshad said. He added that along with a carnival, there will also be activities for children as well as a musical evening programme.
(With inputs from Nivetha C. and Arvind Kumar)