Union minister Vijay Goel today appealed to the Lt Governor to intervene and take measures to restore the old charm of Chandni Chowk, saying its rich heritage has been destroyed by “illegal construction” and other civic issues. Goel, who has been a two-time Lok Sabha member from the Chandni Chowk seat, also urged Lt Governor Anil Baijal to see if the area can be developed on the lines of a Smart City project of the Centre. In a letter to Baijal, the minister, who is a known connoisseur of heritage, flagged the “degrading situation” of Chandni Chowk – the principal street in Old Delhi, running from Red Fort to Fatehpuri Masjid, lined by bustling markets on both sides. Goel requested the LG to “intervene and take measures to restore the beauty and originality of the historic place,” a statement from the minister’s office said.
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Goel in his letter also said that the Shahjahanabad Redevelopment Board has offered many suggestions pertaining to the area’s development and restoration, and “these must be implemented to save Chandni Chowk”. Goel, also alleged that the Shahjahanabad Redevelopment Board has “failed to work” in this area. “Chandni Chowk has suffered due to illegal construction, and civic issues like electricity, water, parking, encroachment and so on. “It is high time that the authorities take a serious stand and resolve the pending issues to conserve and preserve the cultural richness and golden heritage of Chandni Chowk,” Goel said in the letter.
Built in mid 17th century by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, it is steeped in history and is dotted with old buildings, shops and landmarks, endowed with old design and architecture. A famous tourist destination, for both Indians and foreigners, it is also known for its street food.