Delhi's Connaught Place to be a car-free zone

From next month, Delhiites will no longer to be able to drive to Connaught Place. The middle and inner circles of the iconic market will turn into an exclusive pedestrian zone for a three-month period starting February , under a pilot project aimed at addressing congestion in the area.

A meeting chaired by Union urban development minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday okayed the plan, under which people driving to CP will park at designated slots at Shivaji Stadium, Baba Kharak Singh Marg and Palika, and take a free shuttle service to the market. A UD ministry official said the pilot project will test changes in traffic circulation after pedestrianisation of CP.  Naidu had directed officials to ensure that CP is made “congestion-free, accident-free and crime-free“.

According to estimates, 3,172 cars can be accommodated at parking lots at Shivaji Stadium, Baba Kharak Singh Marg and Palika. But on an average only 1,088 vehicles are being parked.Police and NDMC officials have informed the ministry that the unutilised capacity could be fully used by promoting `park and ride'. There will be cycles on hire and battery-operated vehicles for shoppers and visitors to move around CP .Officials said if the traffic plan becomes permanent, it would free up space for landscaping and construction of water bodies to act as humidifiers in the walking zone.

Pedestrianisation of CP is one of the key components of NDMC's Smart City project.

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