Traders in central Delhi’s Connaught Place have decided to approach Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal against the decision of making the inner and middle circle a vehicle-free zone from February.
“This is an impractical decision which will not only cause discomfort to visitors but also affect businesses. We have decided to meet the Chief Minister to voice our objection to the decision and seek his intervention as he is an MLA from New Delhi,” Atul Bhargav, President of New Delhi Traders Association (NDTA), told PTI.
“We will also consider meeting New Delhi MP Meenakshi Lekhi and NDMC Chairman Naresh Kumar and raise our concern. CP is a commercial centre not a tourist destination. The moment the inner circle will be made vehicle-free, the outer circle will be choked. We have already seen a demo on the Yoga Day,” he said.
The decision to make the middle and the inner circular roads of Connaught Place vehicle-free from February was taken last week at a meeting chaired by Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu and attended by officials from the Urban Development Ministry, New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) and Delhi Police.
The traders contend that Connaught Place has ample space for pedestrians but less parking area.
“The business has already taken a hit post-demonetisation and now this move will make things worse. How many people will park their vehicles at Shivaji stadium or Shankar market and come to CP,” said Satish Sundra, who runs one of country’s oldest toy stores in the area.
NDMC officials said park and ride’ services from major parking areas at Shivaji Stadium, Baba Kharak Singh Marg and Palika will be made available to visitors and in the longer run the decision will be appreciated.
The NDMC had last year mooted a proposal to make both Connaught Place and Khan Market vehicle-free zones. While Naidu had in November last asked for making both the markets vehicle-free, no decision has been taken yet in this regard.