Connaught Place or CP as most refer to it, was recently listed by Forbes magazine to be the 5th most expensive ‘office destination’ in the world! And if the plans formulated by NDMC and Delhi Government are taken to their logical conclusion (albeit at DMRC-speeds!) and notwithstanding the new AAP ki Delhi Government (no pun intended), then the day is not far when probably CP will become the most expensive office address in the world and the biggest open air Mall of India…
NDMC has been at work since early 2010 to carry out necessary beautification, repairs of the facades and pillars of CP, standardizing the billboards/signages of shops and offices and attempting to regulate the unauthorized constructions which have taken place in the past few decades of Delhi’s relentless march towards urbanisation.
But a salient feature of the efforts in beautifying CP forever is another project of the ‘underground’ types. Almost 80 years after Connaught Plaza or Place was completed in 1933 as part of the grand city plan for New Delhi envisaged by Lutyens, EIL or Engineers India Limited and NDMC has succeeded in making the biggest addition to CP. A 7 metres x 7metres utility tunnel has been dug up and constructed under the road which lies between the Outer and Inner Circles of CP, popularly called Middle Circle.
How will the tunnel help in beautifying CP?
The new tunnel is designed to carry all service equipments such as electric and communication cables, water supply and irrigation lines, fire fighting services, water sewers etc. The idea was to remove the ugly eyesores that dotted the famous shopping and commerical hub and also end the need forever to dig-up roads to lay down new cables, water pipes, sewage pipes etc.
Robert Tor Russell, chief architect to the Public Works Department (PWD) in the British Government of India, who designed CP in the 1920s would never have imagined that one day people like you and me would walk along this huge tunnel, which is 1.2 Kms long running in a circle around the circumference of the circle that CP is designed as.
The tunnel has been built at a cost of Rs485Crores. Figures are as per the EIL’s engineer who met us from the invited contingent of Media and Delhi Bloggers.
The NDMC has kept the tunnel open for public viewing from 11:30AM till 4:30PM daily till 4th Jan 2014. If interested to check it out reach Middle Circle on Janpath (R1) Road entering Inner Circle from Outer Circle.