Old Delhi to transform ahead of ASEAN Summit

| | New Delhi

In an attempt to transform the areas of Red Fort, Jama Masjid and Chandni Chowk ahead of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit here, North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NMC) has removed encroachments in the area. Some shopkeepers have also put a similar standard-sized board for shops, following advice from the corporation.

However, a number of wires that are dangling over shutters of every shop are still giving a nasty look. Further, battery operated rickshaws which parked on the main road create a heavy traffic snarls. 

Ruchika Katyal, the Deputy Commissioner of City zone, said besides removing encroachment, the steps have also been taken repair pavements in coordination of other agencies.

“We have also advised shopkeepers to use uniform signage board and removed unauthorised board that exceeded the standard size of 2.5 sqm. Night sweeping is also being done regularly in order to keep the area clean,” she said.

Recently, in a meeting, Lieutenant-Governor Anil Baijal had said all the civic agencies must take special care of the heritage places in their jurisdiction as they will be centre of attraction of the international guests arriving from different countries for the upcoming ASEAN Summit. He also directed officials to remove all the obstacles before January 15.

The senior NMC official said the civic body has conducted a drive to remove large outdoor advertisement boards and advising them to use as prescribed. The move is getting positive response from the many shopkeepers. We also convinced them to paint and maintain the facade.”

The ASEAN Summit is scheduled to take place between January 19 and 30 in the national Capital. Many leaders are expected to go sightseeing in the Old Delhi area.

However, an official of BYPL (discoms) said a project management team was set up for beautification of the Chandni Chowk Heritage area soon after the direction received by NMC.

The areas included Chandini Chowk, starting from Gauri Shankar Mandir to Fatehpuri Masjid and on the road from Netaji Subhash Marg to Jama Masjid passing through Dharampura.

A team of around 250 people worked on this project. They were supervised by a supervisory committee of 16 engineers to convert all the hanging over head wires through underground trenches.

“We have renovation 13 sub-stations, 50 feeder pillars. Further, 2.5 kms of underground cable has already been laid and 3.5 kms of last mile cable was made underground. As many as 62 street light poles were also spruced-up,” he said.

“However, the allocation of around 20 days to complete the task was very less to execute the work by literally working round the clock. Teams were deployed for digging the roads, lying of cables/wires and restoration of the road. Lack of space and illegal encroachments compounded the issue. Illegal hanging of cables on the BYPL electricity poles by private cable TV operators also caused a lot of inconvenience during the drive,” the official said.



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