The New Delhi Municipal Councils plan to open high-end coffee shops in subways in and around Connaught Place found only one bidder. The Council had floated tenders and targeted big multinational coffee chains in a bid to make subways safe for pedestrians and appealing to coffee lovers.
However, the council did not get a response for its ambitious project and now it will float new tenders for all but two subways, where space will be allotted to Cafe Buddy. For those who have stopped taking subways due to the presence of beggars and drug addicts, NDMC floated proposals to start commercial activities in the subways.
The proposal, followed by tenders, came after Council officials expressed their inability to evict beggars and drug addicts from subways on Baba Kharak Singh Marg. The Council then proposed outsourcing these subways to high-end coffee shops. Officials believed that with commercial activity inside the subway, people would feel confident taking them.
The council had planned to relax norms for those interested in setting up coffee shops. The civic body had proposed that the coffee shops would be responsible for maintenance and security in the subways where they are allotted commercial space. However, the big multinationals did not show interest in the project.
The council had decided to provide space in the Janpath subway to Tihar for just Re 1 monthly rent, so that it could sell products in a commercial hub. But Tihar has not responded to the proposal yet. We thought (of charging them) Re 1 as rent because we would be engaging in community service. We are yet to hear from Tihar on this, NDMC secretary Vikas Anand said.