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Old Posted Sep 16, 2009, 1:28 AM
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From October onwards, get ready to face shrinking road space in Connaught Place. New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) is planning to construct eight subways in Outer Circle for which it will need road space. So it is planning to convert a six lane road into three lanes to allow work to be carried out on a particular stretch. It also has plans to construct two to three subways simultaneously, depending on the traffic situation.

Moreover, the fact that NDMC wants to complete this work in time for Commonwealth Games 2010 means that it will have to construct more than one subway at a time. At present, facade restoration work on 16 blocks is going on in Connaught Place and this has already eaten into footpaths making it a task for pedestrians to walk around the area. While the parking situation has been more or less resolved, the traders of the area are not too happy with this move claiming that their business has gone down by 20-25% since facade restoration work began.

The traders held a meeting with NDMC on Tuesday over the redevelopment plan of CP in which construction of subways was included. The traders said that they were opposed to the idea of too many things being taken up at once and would take up the matter again with NDMC on Friday.

The eight subways that will come up in the Outer Circle will include one each near Super Bazar, Minto Road, State Entry Road, Chelmsford Road, Sher Bhagat Singh Marg, and two each at Punchkuian Road and Barakhamba Road on both sides of the Metro Line. These subways will be disabled-friendly and will have escalators. The total cost of this project is Rs 35 crore.

Said Atul Bhargav, general secretary of the New Delhi Traders Association: "Business has already been affected by the ongoing facade restoration work. We have seen a dip of 20-25%. Till the work of restoring facade is not completed, no new work should be taken up. There is heavy traffic flow on Outer Ring Road at any time of the day. It is the commercial hub of Delhi and many offices are located here.''

Said an NDMC official: "Some amount of disruption is bound to happen when construction work takes place. Like the Metro, we too will divert traffic and will make the six lane road into a three lane stretch. We will take up work on more than one site simultaneously. We are already in talks with the traffic police on this matter. We are making an underpass at Shanti Path using box-pushing technology where a concrete box is lowered through an opening and is pushed ahead to make a tunnel which doesn't require too much road cutting but we need more space to use this technology which is just not available in Connaught Place.''

Senior traffic officials said that while they had no information on this plan, shrinking of road space would lead to traffic disruption.

Meanwhile, the subways were supposed to sport modern designs and CCTV cameras will also be installed in them. Besides this, it will be linked to the cooling mechanism to be installed in CP. NDMC also plans to upgrade the existing four subways in CP area.
Courtesy : Times of India
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