With the ongoing work in New Delhi under the Central Vista redevelopment project, the Rajpath stretch underwent drastic changes. According to an IE report, trenches dug on the road sides as well as red road blockers have replaced lamp posts and the iconic chain link fence. Also, the road leading up to the Rashtrapati Bhavan is fenced with yellow boards that read ‘Development/ Redevelopment of Central Vista Avenue’, set up by the Central Public Works Department (CPWD). According to the officials of HCP Design, Planning and Management, the project’s architectural consultant, the area’s original design elements will be kept intact to a large extent after completing the work.
According to CPWD officials, despite fewer workers showing up in the past few days, they are trying to meet the initial deadlines. With Covid-induced lockdown, workers said they have been issued e-passes and since the lockdown, they are being paid daily wages. A contractual worker with MTNL, Sanjay was quoted in the report saying that he has been coming daily to make some savings in case the workers are barred in the near future from working. They travel to work as well as back home in a rented two-wheeler.
Earlier, there were eight of them but now only four workers can come to work in a vehicle, Sanjay said. When the other workers tried to come, they were issued a challan so they do not come any more, he said. A trench was dug by four men to bury existing underground wires further underground, Sanjay said. This was being done since sewerage work will soon start and some public amenities might be underground, he added.
A CPWD official said that digging of an underground passageway is about to start. The Rajpath redevelopment under the project’s phase 1 is aimed at providing better amenities for tourists and visitors and making the area pedestrian-friendly. The redevelopment includes creating underpasses at Janpath and C Hexagon crossing with Rajpath, refurbishing the lawns, building wide walkways or footpaths parallel to the avenue, as well as developing low-level bridges at 12 selected locations. Some of the other amenities include drinking water facilities, vending areas, toilets, signages, parking spaces, lighting and CCTV cameras.
Also, with the plan envisaging increasing green cover from 3,50,000 square metres to 3,90,000 square metres, more trees will line the lawn. Besides, a sewerage treatment plant will be set up for waste water recycling along with rainwater harvesting systems as well as water supply systems under the project’s phase 1.