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What Chandni Chowk will look like by November

Written by Somya Lakhani
| New Delhi |

Printed: July 26, 2020 3:32:02 am

Beautification work in progress at Chandni Chowk on Friday. (The Press Reporter Picture by Praveen Khanna)

A 1.3-km stretch between the Pink Fort and the Fatehpuri Masjid is being became a car-free zone, and beautified protecting the Mughal-era architectural fashion in thoughts. The mesh of overhead wires has gone underground, fireplace hydrants are being arrange, purple sandstone seats being positioned, and bathrooms being constructed. A minimum of 175 purple sandstone planters, together with a row of bollards, might be positioned to imitate the Mughal architectural aesthetic, and each side of the stretch might be lined with 250 Moulsari bushes.

LED avenue lighting can also be part of the plan. The Delhi Jal Board has finished rehabilitation work of the traditional sewer line that runs underground. The stretch might be accessible to the differently-abled as properly. Non-motorised automobiles corresponding to rickshaws will ply on the stretch, and by November, it will likely be open to the general public, stated Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday as he inspected the undertaking web site, together with City Improvement Minister Satyendar Jain. As of now, beautification of a 400-metre stretch of the 1.3-km is full, however work by DJB and BSES is being completed.

For the way lengthy has the redevelopment undertaking been within the works?

Sixteen years, to be exact. The thought of the formidable revamp of Chandni Chowk first got here up in 2004. In 2008, the then Chief Minister of Delhi, Sheila Dikshit, arrange the Shahjahanabad Redevelopment Company (SRDC) however the plan didn’t take off until 2018 — when Delhi’s Deputy CM Manish Sisodia launched the undertaking. It was a tricky undertaking as there are lots of stakeholders — merchants, dealer unions, residents, heads of spiritual buildings on the stretch, and the Delhi City Arts Fee.

In 2017, veteran architect Pradeep Sachdeva, who specialises in streets, joined the undertaking as chief architect. In August 2019, a 12-metre stretch of the whole 1.Three km was readied as a pattern in entrance of the Central Baptist Church. On the time, Sachdeva informed The Indian The Press Reporter, “What do the Mall Street in Shimla, MG Street in Gangtok or the realm close to the Golden Temple in Amritsar have in frequent? They’re car-free zones. I believe that is an important facet of the redevelopment of Chandni Chowk.”

Whereas explaining the blueprint, Sachdeva had stated that there might be a 5.4-metre-wide footpath, subsequent to it a 5.5-metre-wide carriageway for cycle rickshaws, adopted by a 3.5-metre-wide central verge with planters and bollards. Subsequent to this would be the second 5.5-metre-wide carriageway after which a 5.4-metre-wide footpath. He had stated the lane meant for rickshaws will also be used for emergency automobiles corresponding to ambulances and fireplace tenders. Sachdeva — who’s credited for constructing Dilli Haat and the Backyard of 5 Senses — handed away Might-end on the age of 63.

The undertaking was purported to be open to the general public by March 2020 nevertheless it was delayed because of the lockdown within the wake of Covid-19.

What are the challenges that the undertaking has confronted since 2018?

When the concept the stretch might be a car-free zone was floated, the primary concern of merchants was loading and off-loading of products. This problem was solved and it was determined that the stretch might be a non-motorised zone from 9 am to 9 pm solely. Submit 9 pm, loading and off-loading of products in motorised automobiles is allowed.

One other problem that was raised by merchants was that if automobiles aren’t allowed, the footfall would possibly endure, and parking may be a difficulty. This too was resolved and the North MCD is constructing a multi-level parking facility at Chandni Chowk’s Gandhi Maidan to accommodate over 2,300 vehicles. It’s going to have eight flooring and three underground ranges.

In 2019, one other downside emerged when DUAC objected to the location of the 19 transformers on the central verge as it will destroy the view. Conferences with BSES, SRDC, DUAC and Sachdeva have been held to resolve the matter.

What’s the story of Chandni Chowk?

Chandni Chowk or ‘Moonlit Sq.’ was constructed within the 17th Century by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan’s daughter Jahanara Begum. In entrance of the Bibi ka Serai in Shahjahanabad was a water tank, surrounded by buildings, and on moonlit nights, the buildings would get illuminated because the moonlight mirrored on them from the tank — and so the title Chandni Chowk emerged.

It’s attention-grabbing to notice that until earlier than 1857, it was at all times talked about as a “sq.,” together with in Mirza Sangin Beg’s Sair-ul-Manazil, written within the 1820s, and in Asar-us-Sanadid written by scholar reformist Syed Ahmed Khan in 1847. After the Revolt of 1857, Chandni Chowk finds point out in a map as a “avenue.”

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