What next? That’s the question in the mind of every shopowner in
Connaught Place, after NDMC finished giving a facelift to CP’s C-block.
Conceived as a dream project, the “redevelopment of Connaught Place”
entails a complete renovation of all blocks, and the New Delhi Municipal
Corporation (NDMC) has said time and again that its deadline remains
2010, before the Commonwealth Games get underway.
“We are extremely satisfied with the result (of C-block renovation,
carried out at an estimated cost of Rs 2 crore,” NDMC spokesperson Anand
Tiwari said. “We are now awaiting clearances from the DUAC and other
bodies, and as soon as they come through we will begin work on the rest
of the blocks.”
The restoration of the first of Connaught Place's colonnaded
neo-Paladian buildings was completed in August under the urban renewal
project, which is due to be finished by July 2010. But the work has
faced criticism from conservation architects as well as local traders.
On the architectural front, experts from the Delhi Urban Arts Commission
discovered flaws, including misaligned decorative plaster and badly
designed flooring, when they inspected the buildings. Workers are now
correcting the mistakes.
The traders support the restoration but do not want the area to be
converted into a pedestrian promenade and leisure hub. They were not
consulted about the project and have now hired a conservation architect
and petitioned Delhi's lieutenant governor for their cause.