With traders crying foul over dwindling footfalls in Connaught Place as many prefer to avoid the commercial centre due to the redevelopment work being carried out by the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), the council has now come up with another project to lure more people to one of the most frequented shopping centres in Central Delhi.
The NDMC plans to open a food plaza in the centre of CP — near Gate Number 1 of the Metro station. The space is next to the temporary office of Engineers India Limited (EIL), the company which has been outsourced the redevelopment work.
The council, however, has decided to construct the plaza without bringing down or altering the EIL office as it is uncertain about the time the company would need to remove its office even after completion of the project.
“The EIL has occupied just 450 sqm of space and we have approximately 2,000 sqm near Palika Bazar to develop the food plaza. The plaza will not be a permanent structure — only temporary stalls will be allowed and we plan to hold food festivals here. This will give people a good reason to visit CP,” Vikas Anand, NDMC secretary, said.
Lack of food stalls in Central Delhi on the lines of those in Dilli Haat was something the NDMC had been planning to address for a while now.
Though the CP area boasts of various food joints that are run by tourism department and multinational companies, people still prefer visiting Dilli Haat if they want to try authentic Indian cuisine. Also, the government-run outlets in CP are overcrowded on most days and have limited options in terms of food, NDMC officials said.
“We have many restaurants and hotels most of which are out of the budget of many people. But those who work in establishments located in CP and want to enjoy a variety of food at a reasonable price, the food plaza will be an option. We hope that the plaza will change the face of Connaught Place,” a senior NDMC official said. Earlier, the council had decided to open its subways to international coffee chains.