Historic Kamla Market to make way for commercial complex
Kamla Market, the popular municipal mart dubbed as Asia’s biggest air-cooler market, is all set to be replaced by a swanky commercial complex, as the North MCD has set the ball rolling in this regard.
Seeking to boost its sources of revenue, the cash-strapped North Delhi Municipal Corporation made the proposal in its annual budget tabled by its Commissioner P K Gupta on Tuesday.
“Yes, we have firmed up plans to replace the dilapidated market into a swanky complex, like a mall or something. The proposal has been sent to DDA’s Technical Committee for considering change of land usage,” Gupta said.
Built in the 1950s, the veritable city landmark was named after the wife of first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
The market, inaugurated by first President Rajendra Prasad, with its now-faded clock-tower, located next to the New Delhi Railway Station is part of the city’s immediate post-colonial heritage.
“Commercial spaces like Kamla Market and Ghaffar Market, only couple of storeys high and built years ago, have now grown decrepit and are occupying space. By replacing them with modern commercial complexes we seek to utilise the space as well as increase the revenues for the civic body,” North MCD Standing Committee Chairman Mohan Bhardwaj said.
The budget has also proposed to redevelop municipal quarters in Bungalow Road in north Delhi’s Kamla Nagar into a commercial centre. North MCD has also sent this proposal to DDA for change of land usage, he said.
“The idea is to take all scattered quarters into one zone and replace it with a commercial centre, which would also boost our revenues,” Bhardwaj added. He said as per Kamla Market redevelopment plans, “all the building byelaws would be taken into consideration, for deciding the height and number of storeys of the proposed complex.”
“We will also see if the clock tower can be preserved,” he added.