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'Ensure Gandhi Maidan parking lot in Chandni Chowk by Sept 2020'

Ensure Gandhi Maidan parking lot in Chandni Chowk by Sept 2020

NEW DELHI: The Delhi high court has directed the North Delhi Municipal Corporation to ensure completion of a parking lot at Gandhi Maidan in crowded Chandni Chowk area of the walled city by September 2020. A bench of justices S Muralidhar and Sanjeev Narula directed the fire department, the Delhi Urban Arts Commission, the Heritage Conservative Committee and other local authorities to give no objection certificates (NOC) for the Rs 445-crore multi-level parking project by January 31 next year. It also directed the Environment Ministry to forthwith process the corporation's application for getting environment clearance (EC) for the project and convey its decision to the municipal body by end of January.

The court emphasised that the timelines mentioned for obtaining the NOC and EC be "strictly adhered to" so that the project is completed by September 2020. It also directed the commissioner of the corporation, who is awaiting a fresh posting by way of transfer, to "clear the files that are pending before him for orders of sanction and other issues concerning the Gandhi Maidan parking project". "The mere fact that he may be transferred should not delay the completion of the work in accordance with the agreed timelines," the bench added.

Currently, the Gandhi Maidan parking, situated adjacent to the Chandni Chowk Metro Station, can accommodate 650 cars. The new structure will have six levels, including three underground floors. One floor will be reserved for commercial activities. This will create additional parking space for more than 2,500 cars, the corporation had earlier told the court. The directions from the court came while hearing PILs filed by NGO Manushi Sangathan and others in 2007 on the issue of redevelopment of the Chandni Chowk area and creation of lanes for non-motorised vehicles. In the matter, the court has passed a slew of directions to decongest the area by ordering registration of cycle-rickshaws plying there, construction of a parking lot at Gandhi Maidan for private vehicles, a bus depot at Dangal Maidan near Old Delhi Railway Station and creation of non-motorised vehicle lanes.

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