Connaught Place project needs more time

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NEW DELHI: Over a month after the Rs 671-crore CP redevelopment project missed another deadline on June 30, parts of Connaught Place still look like sites under construction. Power, water and sewage lines are exposed and there is a mesh of cables across Middle Circle lanes, creating hurdles for pedestrians. New garbage stations are overflowing, with crows and dogs scavenging on them.

There are cables and pipes in front of PVR Plaza, pipes have taken over the footpaths in Blocks H, L and most others. A huge area in front of Gopaldas Building has been dug up for installing an escalator. The pavements are also not completely constructed in many areas.

Traders and shoppers are not very hopeful. “The priority should be on keeping CP clean. There is garbage strewn in all lanes and the stench is unbearable. The rest looks better,” said Shivani Shah, a chartered accountant who came to shop at CP. Arun Choudhury, who came to an eatery, said, “Walking in Middle Circle is a nightmare. You can stumble and fall anytime. It’s going to take more time to complete these works. No point waiting for another deadline.”

Atul Bhargava, president of New Delhi Traders Association, agrees that most of the places are littered with garbage. “An NGO should be asked to manage solid waste. It can monitor and get the garbage picked up on a regular basis. The frequency of clearing garbage has to be increased. For restaurants, there should be door-to-door pick-up facilities,” said Bhargava.

Many of the 20 public toilet blocks, also built as part of the plan, were recently found locked while functional ones were not clean.

The project is now likely to be completed in a few months. Engineers India Limited, which is executing it, said the utility connections like power and water were yet to be restored. “We can complete the footpath work only after the connections are restored. For the first time in India, a 1.2km-long service corridor utility duct facility has been completed. As of now utility lines are working on a dual system.

The pavements in these lanes will also be completed after that. We hope to finish this work by the month-end,” said an engineer with EIL.


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