Connaught Place to go traffic free. Ban on vehicles starts from Feb.

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The gridlock in the Connaught Place, the heart of the city and one of the most famous shopping districts. Photo Credits: BBC

In the wake of the increase in pollution in the national capital, the Ministry of Urban Development has passed an order to curb traffic in Connaught Place. Situated in the heart of the city, this place is one of the famous shopping districts. Along with the bustling pedestrians, this place always witnesses a gridlock almost throughout the day.

The Ministry of Urban Development has decided to ban vehicles in Connaught Place for 3 months. Starting this February, the Connaught Place will be a vehicle free zone. Although it does not stop the cycles and electric vehicles moving into these roads. Shri Venkaiah Naidu, Union Minister of Urban Development, passed this order in early November of 2016.

During this period, the State and Central Government will work together to improve traffic management, parking and last mile connectivity. Shri Venkaiah Naidu passed this order, expressing concern over poor maintenance of the road from the airport to Connaught Place. He directed the New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) and South MCD to undertake necessary interventions to make the district a smart road with all necessary features.

He also stressed the need for provision of quality pedestrian pathways and non-motorised transport infrastructure. The order is specifies that all roads in NDMC area will become smart. The smart features include smart poles, smart bus stops and smart parking.

The NDMC will install features like pedestrian crossings, pedestrian and cycle pathways, CCTV cameras, LED lighting, 3D Zebra crossings, steel furniture etc. This 3 month period will also be used to introduce and spread awareness on electric vehicles.  This order is not only for Connaught Place, but also for Khan Market.

Delhi has the highest level of the airborne particulate matter, PM2.5 considered most harmful to health, with 153 micrograms and tops the polluted cities of the world.

This move is indeed very much important for the National Capital, as it is one of the most polluted cities in the world. The state has already been taking certain steps to reduce the air pollution and traffic congestion. This additional step is very well welcomed by the city dwellers. This ban, if successful, will continue and many other bustling districts of the sub-continent will also follow this order.