Chandni Chowk, one of Delhi’s most crowded marketplaces is soon to become traffic free. The streets here are just about narrow enough to make way for people walking on foot and the situation is made worse by the honking vehicles, wrongly parked cars and such. To tackle this issue of congested roads in the market and surrounding areas, Delhi government aims to make Chandni Chowk the first pedestrian only market in the city.

With the latest move by the Delhi government, you can bid goodbye to the hassle. The aim of the government is basically to tackle the problem of heavy traffic in the approach, exit and neighbouring roads of the market as well as making for a better shopping experience for visitors to the market. Additionally this will also solve the issue of parking, air and noise pollution.

This is a much needed move and should hopefully pave the way for more vehicle free markets all around the city. No one likes their shopping experience marred by a bystanding vehicle just honking away to glory. As per the new regulations, no vehicle will be allowed in the market premises from 9 am to 9 pm.

In the redevelopment project, the Public Works Department has set up barricades in order to restrict traffic movement on the Chandni Chowk-Fatehpuri Masjid road to give more space for people to walk. The PWD has also gone an extra step to provide proper parking spaces in adjoining areas of the market from where visitors will have to walk to their destination.

When the move was proposed, it drew a lot of flak from vendors who speculated that a lack of vehicles would diminish their amount of sales leading them to deal heavy losses. But, as more areas become pedestrian only, vendors have mentioned that it has actually increased their sales and made way for new customers to take a step to explore the market.

A similar movement was seen in CP, where it did not see much support and was a failed attempt at making the inner circles vehicle free. The reason it failed in CP was that vendors were convinced that their clientele would prefer coming in their own vehicles and not walk a kilometre to their intended destination.

As for now, we feel that the move is a step towards a more pedestrian friendly Delhi and is a much needed change even in several other parts of the city.

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