Chandni Chowk after restructuring: For some really 'Chandni,' for others it's 'choke'
Nothing much has changed in the inside lanes. Mainly developments are done on the main street. It is a good decision not to allow vehicles inside - but loading and unloading is a real task for us. Also, there should be sitting provisions, especially for people who are physically challenged. These days business is happening more online - so it is a real challenge for us to deliver food. Even the shopkeepers have to scrounge for parking their vehicles. Timely delivering of food gets tough at times for us'
If you are in Delhi and did not visit Chandi Chowk - then you are unaware of the culture of the capital city of the country. This popular destination got its founding in the 16th century when Mughal emperor Shah Jahan built Red Fort and then after several times, it has got a new look as generations passed by. But one thing which has been constant here since then is the congested environment - which retains its historical character even in modern times. Chandni Chowk, place has been in news owing to the beautification process. The new government has tried its best to make it more comfortable for everyone and has done beautification - but there are mixed reactions from different classes of people.
Very few know that the Gali which is now known for selling Parathas was earlier known for selling silverware until Parantha shops moved in. Interacting with the famous parathe wali shop owner Gaya Prasad Shiv Charan about the new look of Chandni Chowk, he said, "Nothing much has changed in the inside lanes. Mainly developments are done on the main street. It is a good decision not to allow vehicles inside - but loading and unloading is a real task for us. Also, there should be sitting provisions, especially for people who are physically challenged. These days business is happening more online - so it is a real challenge for us to deliver food. Even the shopkeepers have to scrounge for parking their vehicles. Timely delivering of food gets tough at times for us'.
In a conversation with the owner of Jalebi Wala, he said, "We are happy that we don't hear horns honking and with that, we get little peace. Vehicles have been banned which has been an added bonus for our shop. Customers can now enjoy our tasty jalebis without the worried of congestion near the shops. Obviously, with the revamping, there has been an addition of our daily sales. The renovation is totally amazing with few new facilities like toilets, empowerment to only rickshaw pullers, allowing cycles and etc. But on the other side, there are few more developments are expected from the government which includes the medical emergency facility, parking issues as it takes a lot of time to reach the shop from there, security issues especially in the late evening and at night times."
Wholesalers have a quite negative reaction with regards to the changes as the ban of heavy vehicles will hamper the loading-unloading of goods. They will have to rely more on manual labour for transporting their goods to the parking areas which is also time-consuming with the application of extra cost and effort.
While conversing with one of the Rickshaw pullers named Ramesh Songh, he says that the streets have been broadened yet the traffic system is confused because at intersections several rickshaws come together at once. E Rickshaws has not been permitted.
Walking down the streets of Chandni Chowk, Interactions with a senior citizen Gopal Das, he said, he likes the changes while he walks on the boulevard of changes. He says the place had been revamped and it will attract tourism as earlier people didn't want to enter congested sites but now with the expansion, they will be attracted to the place.
Overall the place which once was burdened with loose hanging wires, vehicular congestions, too much crowding, hawkers and vendors, not getting ample spaces has now been transformed to an extent with no more loose wires, fewer vehicles more lighting and a little touch of modernisation. Restructuring the place has been a welcome step by a few segments while on the contrary some still are not happy. The government of Delhi has taken a few steps to beautify the place, but it's true that it can't make everyone happy with every decision. Some people will accept, some will not. That's how the world works.