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Breather for Chandni Chowk: Urban art body clears Gandhi Maidan parking

Breather for Chandni Chowk: Urban art body clears Gandhi Maidan parking

Amended Plan Doesn’t Have 5th Floor; North Corporation Hopes To Start Work In A Week

New Delhi:

North Delhi Municipal Corporation is expected to start work on its ambitious Gandhi Maidan car parking project in a week as Delhi Urban Art Commission (DUAC) has given its nod to the project.

The DUAC has, however, asked the civic agency to strictly comply with its observations, including reducing the height of the structure from the initially proposed 30 metres to 22 metres.

In an approval letter issued to the north corporation on May 6, DUAC has deleted the provision for fifth floor.

“Now, there will be three basements used for parking purposes and of them, the lower basement will be exclusively used for parking of traders’ vehicles (free of cost) and first basement for parking of small trucks. The ground, first and second floors of parking will be allowed for retail shops and upper two floors will be further be used for parking of visitors’ vehicles. And no fifth floor is allowed, as per DUAC report,” said Sanjay Bhargava, president of Chandni Chowk Sarv Vyapar Mandal.

Bhargava was also present in the meeting that took place on April 3.

“We have received the approval letter and now we will pursue our architect to make changes in the building plan and incorporate the observation suggested by DUAC. After that the building plan would be forwarded to the department concerned for sanction. We are hopeful that work will start at site in another 7-10 days,” said Bhargava.

“The project is already running behind schedule due to several objections raised by the agencies in the past. Despite the inauguration of the project prior to election, we could not start work. However, the old structure has been demolished by the contractor,” he said.

In the approval letter, it is written that similar to the third basement, the provision for stack parking should be made on the second basement as well. This would help in doubling the capacity of vehicles that can be parked there and do away with the requirement of a fifth floor.

“Though running and maintenance of stack parking is expensive, we have no other option. The air conditioner ducts and fire fighting arrangements will be made in a way that they won’t hurt vehicles. We will make the best arrangements from our side,” said another official.

In the letter, it has also been mentioned that architectural treatment of the façade should not be spoiled by installing signage.

TOI tried reaching out to a DUAC member who was present at the meeting, but he was not available for comments.

Earlier in March, DUAC had refused to give the nod to a proposed 30m-high multilevel car parking facility on the ground that it would mar the aesthetics of the area and could pose a threat to the Prime Minister’s security during his address from Red Fort every August 15.

The north corporation maintained that the pedestrianisation of Chandni Chowk area is impossible without the parking project. On April 23, the civic agency had informed the Delhi high court that it has submitted a revised proposal to DUAC reducing the height of parking to 25.5 metres. To this, DUAC counsel said that the body will take a decision in 10 days and convey the same to the civic agency in the next three days.

The corporation’s engineering department is now waiting for the building department to clear the changed plan.