New Delhi: The middle and inner circular roads of Connaught Place in the heart of the national capital will be vehicle-free from February for next three months on pilot basis, a move aimed at decongesting the area.
A decision in this regard was taken at a meeting attended by officials from the Urban Development Ministry, NDMC and Delhi Police. The meeting was chaired by Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu.
"It was decided that pedestrianisation of Connaught Place on a pilot basis would be implemented for three months from February this year for ground level testing of issues related to changes in traffic circulation, experience of pedestrians and shop owners, management of reclaimed parking lots, traffic load on outer circle etc," an official release said.
The officials stated that 'pedestrianisation' could be promoted by declaring the middle and inner circular roads of CP vehicle free by providing effective 'park and ride' services from major parking areas at Shivaji Stadium, Baba Kharak Singh Marg and Palika parking.
Total parking capacity at these three locations is 3,172 and on an average only 1,088 vehicles are being parked, they said, adding that the unutilised capacity could be fully used by promoting 'park and ride' concept.
Besides cycle hiring, the battery-operated vehicles would be deployed to take people to the business district.
Naidu also reviewed the progress of implementation of smart city plan of the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), whose chairman Naresh Kumar said the results on ground could be seen in the next four to five months.
Other issues discussed in the meeting included landscaping, development of water bodies to act as humidifier in the walking zone, light and sound shows, side walk cafes, public plazas and organising street festivals.
Naidu emphasised that congestion-free, accident-free and crime-free experience of visitors shall be the objective of 'pedestrianisation'.
Kumar informed the meeting that work on strengthening of smart energy grid network would begin next month, while work on automatic metering and Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) in March this year.
According to a release, three of the 11 decentralised sewage treatment plans would be completed by the end of this month while the remaining by June.
Erection of smart poles with CCTV cameras to be connected to central command and control centres would be completed by July, it said, adding an MoU is also being finalised with MTNL for introducing Wi-Fi services in NDMC area.
Administrative approval for rehabilitation of water supply networks under smart water management, smart automatic meters and water quality sensors is likely to be accorded at the Council's meeting next week, it added.