NEW DELHI: With the redevelopment and beautification of 17th century historic market Chandni Chowk picking up speed, the Shahjahanabad Redevelopment Corporation (SRDC) has set a four-member sub-committee to expedite facade conservation of buildings standing along the 1.3 km long stretch starting from Red Fort crossing to Fatehpuri Masjid.
In addition to finalise documentations pertaining to the restoration project, the panel will explore possibilities on how to take up the frontage restoration of structures particularly heritage edifices with the help of experts.
"It had already been decided to undertake repairing of facades of buildings along Chandni Chowk main road in second phase. Therefore, preparations to achieve the goal have to go simultaneously and need timely planning because several government agencies and individuals are involved," said an official of a government agency associated with the project.
However, he confirmed that actual work would begin only after completion of the ongoing beautification project for which the deadline is March 2020. Garima Gupta, managing director, is head of the sub-committee and its other members are deputy commissioner (central) of revenue department, deputy commissioner (Sadar Paharganj-City zone) of North Delhi Municipal Corporation and Nitin Panigrahi of SRDC is member-secretary.
A majority of buildings including 18 notified heritage structures on the stretch in the market commissioned by Mughal prince Jahanara were raised after the 1857 rebellion. Some of them - Shankar Terrace (1937-38), State Bank of India (SBI) building (1861), Rai Chunnamal ki Haveli (1850s), ES Pearey Lal Building (early 20th century; probably around 1930s), Mahavir Jain Bhawan (1910), and Town Hall (1863) - are embellished with splendid facades and are in urgent need of repair.
The sub-committee will also look into solid waste management plan for the market, said another official. “Superintending engineer (project) of Public Work Department (PWD) has also been requested to expedite ‘storm water drainage network plan’ for the area. Solid waste management plan also requires urgent attention so that it can be integrated with the redevelopment plan,” he said.
Sanjay Bhargava, president of traders’ body-Chandni Chowk Sarv Vyapar Mandal-said the agencies should come up with a robust mechanism to maintain high standard sanitary condition in the market.
"Given the huge quantity of thrash being generated here every day, the agencies should prepare a plan for disposal. We have registered our opposition to installation of dumpsters along the carriageways. Instead, they should plan door-to-door collection," he said.
Students may be roped in
The redevelopment board is mulling the decsion to engage architecture students from Jamia Millia Islamia or School of Planning and Architecture for facade reinstatement.