Chandni Chowk: Meet at Raj Bhavan inconclusive

As the meeting failed to end the impasse, Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal asked the SRDC to take a decision on the project.

Published: 17th July 2019 02:29 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th July 2019 10:50 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  Lt. Governor Anil Baijal directed the Shahjahanabad Redevelopment Authority (SRDC) to find a way ahead for the Chandni Chowk redevelopment project, after a crucial meeting of stakeholders at Raj Bhavan ended inconclusively on Tuesday. The Delhi Urban Art Commission (DUAC) remains firm on its stand against the proposal of installing power transformers on the central verge of Chandni Chowk. The Commission submitted a study report prepared by IIT-Delhi and JNU which supports its stance.

As the meeting failed to end the impasse, Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal asked the SRDC to take a decision on the project. “The DUAC submitted a report, which took all stakeholders by surprise. The report supports the Commission’s stand. As the DUAC remained adamant on the removal of transformers, the L-G asked SRDC to resolve the matter,” said a representative of a government agency, who attended the meeting.  

On April 23, the Delhi High Court had instructed Baijal to hold deliberation with all stakeholders to resolve the issue. The court will hear the matter on July 23. The DUAC also objected to a police post on the median near Katra Neel. “There will be no police post because traders association representative refused to shift the post to the pavement,” said the government official.

Later, Sanjay Bhargava, president of Chandni Chowk Sarv-Vyapar Mandal, expressed disappointment with the DUAC’s unwavering stand. “It is very disappointing. It has become a matter of ego. The DUAC brought a report, which was not circulated among the stakeholders. After the report, the L-G said he is not a technical person and put the ball back in SRDC’s court. The Corporation will hold a meeting,” he said. 

Bhargava asserted that the traders would not allow any obstruction before their shops. “By no means, we are going to accept the installation of transformers or anything on the pavement. We have been fighting for over 10 years. The Supreme Court order is  clear about impediment on the footpath, which says that public pathways should be clear of any encroachment.” A 300-metre stretch starting from the Red Fort crossing to Esplanade Road is expected to be ready by July 31. 

TIMELINE
Aug 2018 
The long-pending project got a final go-ahead from the UTTIPEC. 
Dec 2018 
Work started; the deadline set was March 2020
Feb 2019
DUAC, heritage experts filed a petition in the high court challenging the project
April 2019
Court asked L-G to convene a meeting of stakeholders to reach a consensus
May 29, 2019
Joint inspection by all stakeholders including North MCD, PWD, DJB, Delhi Police, BSES and DMRC.
July 31, 2019
Stretch from Red Fort Crossing to Esplanade Road expected to be ready

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