Chandni Chowk’s Transformation, With a Gorgeous Pedestrian Walkway, Should Inspire Other Indian Cities

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Chandni Chowk’s Transformation, With a Gorgeous Pedestrian Walkway, Should Inspire Other Indian Cities

Illustration: Robin Chakraborty

One of the oldest markets and residential areas in the country, Delhi’s iconic Chandni Chowk, is all set to get a much-needed facelift this November.

Following a renovation plan that kicked off in December 2018 — and faced a last minute delay over the coronavirus pandemic — the project to beautify Chandni Chowk has gathered steam in the last few weeks, and looks like it’s finally on the path to completion.

Several residents of the capital took to Twitter to share clips and images of this once-unfathomable transformation in action.

The new walkway, which the state government will inaugurate in November, will be a motor-free zone, with only pedestrian traffic allowed for most of the day. A separate carriageway has been created for cycle rickshaws, beside the 5.4-metre footpath.

The walkway is adorned with decorative posts, plants, and will soon host 250 moulsari trees as well. A long-term resident of the area took to Twitter to say the project was once unimaginable, and the best thing to have happened to Chandni Chowk.

Linking the road from Fatehpuri Masjid to Lal Quila, the walkway also borrows motifs from the Mughal-style of architecture that’s synonymous with old Delhi. The entire project cost the state government Rs 90 crore.

All the electric wires that were once seen dangerously criss-crossing over heads are notably missing. Reports say they’ve been finally shifted underground.

With Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal now announcing that the first phase of construction is almost complete, it’s only a matter of time before residents can visit a brand new Chandni Chowk. Until then, let’s hope other city administrations are watching too.

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