G20: Beautification of Delhi's Connaught Place stalled for want of funds
The New Delhi Municipal Council's plan to beautify Connaught Place, the heart of the city, in view of the G20 events is stalled for several months over the issue of funding, officials said.
The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) had asked traders to fund the renovations but they refused, saying the civic body should use the money collected as taxes.
However, the NDMC said they cannot fund the renovation as "it is not their market".
The entire renovation would cost around Rs 10 crore, an NDMC official said on Monday, adding that various proposals are being discussed to get funds which include CSR funding from private organisations and sponsorship.
"We were looking to refurbish all the markets in our area in view of G20 events including NDMC's markets like Begum Zaidi. But we cannot use public money for the renovation of CP market. We asked the traders to fund the beautification of the market but they have refused," the NDMC official said.
"It is also clear that NDMC cannot do the renovation. So we are looking at other ways of funding," he added.
The historic market was last renovated before the 2010 Commonwealth Games. It now requires whitewash as the paint is rived from several places. The pillars in the area are also stained with beetle-juice and gutkha. Moreover, the facade lighting that was installed in 2010 requires immediate attention.
"During the Commonwealth Games, 2010, NDMC had taken budget from the government to carry out the whitewashing work," the official said.
The traders have said that the market needs several kinds of beautification work including whitewashing, upkeep of lanes, removing weeds and replacing lighting.
"First, trees around the parapet need to be pruned. Then whitewash of the building should be done. We cannot do that because there is a process to do it and that is cumbersome. They (NDMC) must fund the renovation work using money that is being collected from the traders in the form of tax," said Atul Bhargava, president of New Delhi Traders Association (NDTA).
The traders have claimed that they have written to NDMC several times and it was also discussed that a large corporate house is requested to undertake the cleaning and whitewashing task "at their expense".
"We have been given assurances several times," said Bhargava.
India assumed the presidency of G20 on December 1 last year. Over 200 meetings at 55 locations across the country will be held during this period. It will culminate with a summit in the national capital in September this year.
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