The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) is all set to introduce car-free zones on 29 June in the middle and inner circles of Delhi’s iconic Connaught Place (CP).
According to an official of the Council, the plan will be executed in two phases on weekends. The first phase will be on 29 and 30 June, and the second phase on 6 and 7 July. Since both are weekends the idea is to assess the practicality and feasibility of the proposed plan.
When this plan is implemented, it will temporarily make the middle and inner circles of Connaught Place pedestrian-friendly during the weekends
NDMC officials have also met the Delhi Traffic Police to coordinate the management of traffic around CP when this plan is implemented.
“We are yet to study the feasibility of the plan, hence we are launching this only during the weekends,” said an official on condition of anonymity.
This is the third time that the NDMC is attempting to make CP a car-free or pedestrian-friendly zone. The idea is to ensure that the beauty of the colonial-era structures in CP is maintained and preserved.
In 2017, too, the civic body had planned to start a three-month trial from February to April for making Connaught Place a car-free zone, but the scheme was put off after opposition from traders at the popular shopping hub.
The project was again revived and discussed at a meeting of the NDMC officials chaired by the then Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu. Then it was officially decided to make Connaught Place a pedestrianfriendly area where cars and buses will not be allowed in the middle and inner circles.
Pedestrian-only zones are very popular in big cities in many countries in the West. London, Montreal, and Copenhagen have areas where no vehicles are allowed. Many cities in Europe and Asia also have car-free zones. In Puducherry, Goubert Avenue that runs along the French Quarter is closed for motorised vehicles after 5 p.m.