Pedestrianisation of Connaught Place on a pilot basis, will be implemented for three months from February 2017, for ground-level testing of issues related to changes in traffic circulation, experience of pedestrians and shop owners, management of reclaimed parking lots, traffic load on outer circle, etc., said an official release. This decision was taken at a meeting attended by officials from the Urban Development Ministry, NDMC and Delhi Police. The meeting was chaired by Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu.
The officials stated that ‘pedestrianisation’ could be promoted, by declaring the middle and inner circular roads of CP vehicle-free, by providing effective ‘park and ride’ services from major parking areas at Shivaji Stadium, Baba Kharak Singh Marg and Palika parking. The total parking capacity at these three locations is 3,172 and on an average only 1,088 vehicles are being parked, they said, adding that the unutilised capacity could be fully used by promoting ‘park and ride’ concept. Besides cycle hiring, battery-operated vehicles would be deployed to take people to the business district.
Naidu emphasised that congestion-free, accident-free and crime-free experience of visitors, shall be the objective of ‘pedestrianisation’. Naidu also reviewed the progress of the implementation of the smart city plan of the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), whose chairman Naresh Kumar, said that the results on ground could be seen in the next four to five months. Other issues discussed in the meeting included landscaping, development of water bodies to act as a humidifier in the walking zone, light and sound shows, side-walk cafes, public plazas and organisation of street festivals.