Traders and shop owners of the iconic Connaught Place market have called for a shutdown on Tuesday to protest the plan to make middle and inner circle vehicle-free.
Traders have planned to close shut the market in Connaught Place from 11 AM to 3 PM.
The decision to make the middle and the inner circular roads of CP vehicle-free was announced last month following a meeting chaired by Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu and attended by officials of the Urban Development Ministry, NDMC and Delhi Police.
As per the plan, the middle and inner circular roads of CP in the heart of the national capital were to be made vehicle-free from February for three months on a pilot basis, a move aimed at decongesting the area.
However, the plan is yet to take off. The civic body is exploring ways for executing it and negotiations with various stakeholders are going on.
This new traffic plan once implemented in Connaught Place will remove nearly 2,000 parking spaces. It includes 1,500 from the Inner Circle and 400-500 from the Middle Circle.
According to NDMC officials, the modalities for execution of the plan are being worked out and discussions are on with traders and other stakeholders to assure them that the move will not cause financial loss to them.
Notably, Connaught Place is a traffic nightmare on most days of the week. The situation worsens on weekends, festivals and public holidays.
Total parking capacity at three specified parking locations in Connaught Place is 3,172 and on an average only 1,088 vehicles are being parked. The new plan is aimed towards promoting ‘park and ride’ concept.
Pedestrian-only zone is a popular concept in other countries too. Montreal in Canada, London and Danish capital Copenhagen have areas where no vehicles are allowed.
Different cities in Europe and Asia also have car-free zones. In India, Puducherry’s Goubert Avenue that runs along the picturesque French Quarters is closed to motorised vehicles after 5 PM.