NEW DELHI: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday inaugurated newly redeveloped Chandni Chowk market and announced that the entire area will be transformed into a tourist hub by allowing street food joints to operate till midnight.
Kejriwal said that people from all over the city are coming to see the redeveloped market and it has now become the "most important tourist destination".
आधुनिक तरीके से विकसित और सौंदर्यीकृत चांदनी चौक की इस मुख्य सड़क को आज दिल्ली की जनता को समर्पित किया। उम्मीद है कि इलाके के इस बदले हए खूबसूरत रुप से यहां पर्यटन और व्यापार, दोनों को बढ़ावा मिलेगा। pic.twitter.com/TFbBbY98Ks— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) September 12, 2021
Addressing the gathering near Fountain Chowk in the Chandni Chowk main market, Kejriwal said that after the redevelopment, Chandni Chowk has become more beautiful and people come here to walk till midnight.
"It has already become an important tourist place. I came to know that people come here to roam till 12 am. Street food joints will be allowed to open for 3-4 more hours till 12 am so that people can come here in the night and enjoy. Lots of street food joints will be opened after closure of the market," Kejriwal announced.
Earlier the project was to be inaugurated on April 17 this year but was cancelled due to the second wave of COVID-19. Kejriwal said that earlier broken roads, dangling wires, traffic congestion were synonymous with Chandni Chowk but now it has become beautiful and aesthetically appealing.
"We have beautified almost 1.4 km stretch of the Chandni Chowk market and made it extremely beautiful. Traffic on the stretch was improved, dangling wires were made underground, CCTVs were installed under the redevelopment project," Kejriwal said.
In the redevelopment project, the main Chandni Chowk stretch between the Red Fort and the Fatehpuri Masjid crossing has been improved and beautified. The stretch has been developed as a pedestrian friendly corridor and made aesthetically appealing with the help of red granite stone, decorative lights and plants and street furniture etc.
The stretch has been made a "no traffic zone" for motorised vehicles between 9 am and 9 pm. According to PWD officials, the project was approved in August 2018 and work on it began in December 2018. It was to be completed in March 2020 but the project got delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic and its deadline was further pushed to December 2020.
The project got delayed further and was set for inauguration in April this year but the event was cancelled due to surge in COVID-19 cases in the second wave.