This will come as a big blow to the traders. Prominent shopping space right in the middle of Delhi, Connaught Place is going car-free from August. However, the decision to make Connaught Place a pedestrian-friendly area has not gone down well with the traders of that area since they fear this might kill their business. According to Hindustan Times an official of New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) said that the proposed decision will be implemented only on weekends. According to the official, the movement of vehicles will close down from 4pm on Friday and will continue on Saturday and Sunday. Based on the response received, the decision to make CP a vehicle free zone will be taken.
The NDMC had planned to make Connaught Place a car-free free zone on February and decided to keep it under trial for three months. The traders threatened to protest and opposed the decision. New Delhi Traders’ Association (NDTA) president Atul Bhargav said that Saturday, Sunday and Monday are peak trading days and they would do anything to get the decision reverted.
The plan has received a green signal from the Union urban development ministry after undergoing meetings with NDMC. The heritage shopping site gets a minimum of 5 lakh visitors daily and this is the reason that the traffic in the area is nightmarish. The authority has also decided to remove 2,000 parking spaces. To implement this the authorities have also come up with two ideas. First, people will be allowed to enter from Janpath and alight in Palika Bazar or Palika Parking and exit through Baba Kharak Singh Marg. Second, the cars will be allowed to enter but only to drop visitors in the middle circle. The Council is also planning to make battery operated vehicles available on hire in that area. This is not the first time a place has decided to go car-free. Elsewhere, such experiments too are being tried. In Puducherry the use of motorised vehicles is banned on Goubert Avenue that runs along the French Quarters after 5 pm.