NEW DELHI: The authorities have decided to take measures to facilitate smooth pedestrian movement during the festival season in Chandni Chowk, where restrictions are in place at various spots due to the ongoing redevelopment work. Officials aware of the development said that in view of the heavy footfall in the market owing to the festival rush, it had been agreed to allow access to certain stretches, which are closed, on weekends.
The issue of better “crowd management” in Chandni Chowk was discussed during a meeting of the Shahjahanabad Redevelopment Corporation with stakeholders on Monday to review the progress of the project. To minimise inconvenience to shoppers, it was decided that a few barricaded sections could be opened on weekends, an official said.
“On the last weekend, the market witnessed heavy rush. It has been on the rise since the Navratras began. The crowd will continue to swell until Diwali. Apart from regular issues, including toilets and shifting of a night shelter, crowd management also came up during the discussion,” said the official. Work on the redevelopment project began in December. The deadline for completing the project is March 2020. The Corporation planned to open part of the stretch by October 31 to give traders and residents an idea about what the authorities have proposed to spruce up the central vista of the bazaar.
“The development is satisfactory so far and the work is going on at the desired pace. Regular monitoring is being done by the officials concerned. We are hopeful that about 800 metres, starting from the Red Fort crossing to Phuwwara Chowk-Sis Ganj Gurdwara will be available for pedestrians by October 31, as proposed earlier,” said the official.
Sanjay Bhargava, president of traders association Chandni Chowk Sarv Vyapar Mandal, confirmed that the number of shoppers visiting the market had witnessed a sharp increase last weekend.“It was a massive turnout on Saturday as shoppers and revellers arrived in good numbers,” he said.