New Delhi, Sep 2, 2020-
Chandni Chowk is all set to change as shoppers will no longer be pushed around in the crowded narrow streets. They will now be able to shop in a relaxed way. One will be spared the agony of honking vehicles as the area will be a non-motorized vehicle zone from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. The Chandni Chowk redevelopment and beautification scheme will return the area to its historic glory.
Before the lockdown nearly 7 lakh people, including from from far off places, would visit the market. However, after the lockdown the market has been significantly impacted.
After the full completion of the development work, e-rickshaws will not ply on Chandni Chowk main road. The road will be only for pedestrians. Only the rickshaws registered with the MCD will ply within Chandni Chowk.
Earlier, low-hanging electrical wires and broken pipelines were a usual sight in the area, but no more now. People will only see a tree-lined road.
Chandni Chowk Sarv Vyapar Mandal President Sanjay Bhargava told that Chandni Chowk is going to change completely. The remaining work is expected to be completed by November. The grandiose market will attract more footfalls.
Earlier, people used to experience several problems, but now there will be none. Due to wide roads and absence of cars, people will now be able to visit the market easily.
The market functioned well from December 2018 to January 2020 but the lockdown impacted it. Nearly 60 per cent of the shops have been closed due to the lockdown. But Chandni Chowk will now do brisk business again.
Shopkeepers also believe that due to the beautification of Chandni Chowk, the businesses here will expand. With the availability of metro, people will also be able to spend time here with their families.
Vehicles will be barred entry from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on the new road built near the Red Fort. If a vehicle enters a restricted area it will be fined Rs 20,000.
One question on the minds of the people is where will the tourists who come from outside Delhi park their vehicles?
For parking of vehicles, four major parking bays are being built around Chandni Chowk. These include Gandhi Maidan, Dangal Maidan, Church Mission and Parade Ground.
There are nearly 700 shops from Red Fort to Fatehpuri mosque. However, overall the number of shops is much more in Chandni Chowk.
Anish Jain, who runs Ashika Collection, told, “There are some brokers in this market who fleece customers and take them to a few shops where they are stakeholders. Customers buy a cheaper product at an expensive price. A broker gets a share of 30 per cent from a specific shop.”
Rakesh Malhotra, a dealer in bags, told, “Every business in Chandni Chowk will flourish. Now tourists can reach here easily. There will be no overcrowding unlike before. However, we are still considering that all buildings here are painted so that they look more beautiful.” (Agency)