Delhi’s Connaught Place to go vehicle-free next month

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At a meeting headed by Venkaiah Naidu, Minister for Urban Development, on Thursday, it was decided that CP would be ‘pedestrianised’ on a pilot basis for three months, starting February.

The pilot would allow “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,” a statement from the Ministry said. The meeting was held to review the progress of implementation of smart city plan of New Delhi Municipal Council.

The middle and inner circles of CP would become vehicle-free starting February. Delhiites visiting the shopping hub would be able to park in one of three parking facilities identified by the Ministry — at Shivaji Stadium, Baba Kharak Singh Marg and Palika parking.

According to the statement, the three spots have parking capacity of 3,172 cars, while only 1,088 vehicles are parked on an average.

“Cycle hiring, battery-operated vehicles etc, would be deployed effectively for the benefit of those parking vehicles at specified slots to reach the business district and also for the benefit of those using public transport, besides senior citizens, women, children etc to move in the business district,” the statement said.

The space that becomes available as a result of this move would be used for development of water bodies, sidewalk cafes, sound and light shows etc.