Delhi: ‘Commercial hubs to be spruced up while retaining original character’

For instance, Connaught Place and CP Extension are iconic hubs characterised by heritage and landmark buildings, and have a diverse mix of office, hospitality, entertainment, retail, and business activities.

An area-based plan for revitalising Delhi’s commercial hubs by maintaining the character of the locality with businesses that it has been traditionally associated with has been proposed by the Delhi Development Authority in its draft Master Plan 2041.

For instance, Connaught Place and CP Extension are iconic hubs characterised by heritage and landmark buildings, and have a diverse mix of office, hospitality, entertainment, retail, and business activities. “An integrated plan shall be prepared for improving heritage buildings and public spaces. Size of plots as per existing layout plan shall be maintained and no sub-division shall be permissible,” said a senior DDA official.

Mandi House has emerged as a socio-cultural hub, with cultural and educational institutions, government offices, and state bhawans. The institutional character of the area should be maintained and enhanced, as per the draft.

Similarly, Pragati Maidan has assumed international and national significance due to its capacity to serve as a major exhibition and expo-centre. With the ongoing redevelopment of the area, it is expected to emerge as a hub. Adequate provisions for temporary accommodation, hospitality, parking, and public spaces should be ensured in the area.

“The idea is to maintain the flavour of the area, each one having a unique built character, concentration of specialised activities, and potential for future growth,” the official said.

Likewise, Indraprastha Estate is a vibrant hub of government offices and institutions. The area shall be maintained and promoted as an institutional hub, while a comprehensive improvement plan should be prepared to address traffic congestion and manage parking.

At Shahjahanabad, a heritage zone, wholesale activities shall be shifted and cultural or retail activities shall be promoted in the area. For areas outside the walled city, like Paharganj, Sadar Bazaar, Azad Market, and Bara Hindu Rao, the draft states that a regeneration plan shall be prepared.

Specific economic activities such as hospitality districts, alternate sites for warehousing and wholesale may be planned, said the official.

Traditional bazaars or other areas of cultural value shall be identified and protected as part of the plan, he added.

“Comprehensive traffic and parking management plans, plans for improving walkability and creating cycling circuits, and encouraging NTE (Night Time Economy) shall be prepared and implemented in these areas,” said the DDA official.

The draft plan, now placed in the public domain for objections and suggestions from citizens, facilitates Delhi’s development by assessing its present condition and how to achieve the desired development over the next 20 years.

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