Chandni Chowk pedestrianization project would be completed by Dec 31: AAP govt to HC

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New Delhi, Nov 11 (PTI) The AAP government on Wednesday told the Delhi High Court that the project of pedestrianization of Chandni Chowk here would be completed and be ready for inauguration by December 31.

In view of the submission made by the Delhi government, a bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad asked all the local bodies who are part of the project to file their respective status reports indicating the work pending at each of their ends.

The court also directed the Shahjahanabad Redevelopment Corporation, which was constituted to oversee the project, to hold a meeting of all the stake holders to expedite completion of the project.

With the direction, the bench listed the matter for hearing in January next year.

The court was hearing a PIL initiated by it on the basis of news reports that the project has been derailed.

During the arguments, Delhi government additional standing counsel Naushad Ahmed Khan told the bench that the main stretch of the project has been completed and only certain intersections remain to be finished.

He said all the work would be completed by December end.

On November 4, when the matter was listed before a different bench, Khan had said that the project would be completed within a month.

On Wednesday, he told the bench headed by Justice Kohli that the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NrDMC) and the police have to explain why some intersections have been left out.

To this the bench said the Delhi government ought to have communicated to the NrDMC and police to expedite the work.

The court also dismissed the application of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) seeking to be impleaded in the matter.

DSGMC had contended that the police was not allowing cars of pilgrims to approach the Gurdwara Sis Ganj Sahib in Chandni Chowk which was causing difficulties for those senior citizens who wished to offer prayers there.

Declining to entertain the application, the bench said any policy decision taken by the police would be applicable to all and no exceptions can be carved out.

It suggested to DSGMC to make arrangements to ferry pilgrims to the gurdwara from the car parking area.

The bench on October 8 had taken suo motu notice of the 'pathetic condition of the area', as per the photographs in the news reports, and directed the high court registry to register a petition in public interest.

The high court had decided to initiate the PIL for remedying at the earliest the 'complete apathy and mis-management on the part of the authorities and the stakeholders'.

The news reports had claimed that the project of pedestrianization of the stretch of road between the Red Fort intersection and Fatehpuri Masjid at Chandni Chowk, has been derailed.

The high court had noted that the photographs, accompanying the news articles, indicated that stones and garbage were strewn all over the pathway, bollards were broken and the footpaths had been dug up.

It had noted that the pedestrianization of the above stretch of road was a part of the prestigious project of redevelopment of the entire Chandni Chowk area. PTI HMP RKS RKS