NEW DELHI: In a big move to boost the local economy at a time when the country is crawling back from the coronavirus pandemic-induced slowdown, the Delhi government on Monday announced its decision to redevelop five key markets in the national capital – Lajpat Nagar, Kamla Nagar, Sarojini Nagar, Khari Baoli and Kirti Nagar.
The move will not only amp up struggling businesses, but also generate lakhs of jobs in the country as it battles a high unemployment rate. All these markets are located at strategic locations in Delhi, and draw lakhs of visitors on a daily basis.
The Kamla Nagar market is popular as a youth hangout zone, while Khari Baoli is famous for top quality spices and traditional products from the Mughal era. The Lajpat Nagar market is known as a high-end street fashion hub, and a one-stop destination for wedding planners. The Sarojini Nagar market is famous for its fast fashion collections, while the Kirti Nagar market is a popular destination for furniture and house decor, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said in a virtual address on Monday.
He said that the five markets have been selected for Phase 1 of the ‘markets redevelopment’ program, an initiative that the Delhi government unveiled in its annual budget for 2022-23. Other major markets in the capital will be taken up for redevelopment in the next phase.
Kejriwal said the five markets will be redeveloped with world-class designs.
The Delhi government will now hold a design competition and invite ideas from architects as well as the public. The schedule for the competition is likely to be announced in a couple of weeks, with the competition expected within the next six weeks.
“The best designs will be selected and the five markets will be redeveloped on the basis of those designs in such a way that they will attract more people from all over the country and the world. It will create job opportunities at a time when unemployment is a big issue, ”Kejriwal said.
The chief minister and Aam Aadmi Party convener said his government selected the five markets after consultations with market associations. The government invited proposals from all markets and later formed an eight-member selection committee consisting of government officials and traders to choose five prominent pockets for redevelopment under ‘Rozgar Budget 2022-23’.
The committee zeroed in on nine markets, visited them, interacted with stakeholders and identified the scale and scope of redevelopment, and finally, recommended these five options.
An official said that the decision to select the five markets was based on multiple factors. “Unique selling points, footfall, scale of business, existing civic infrastructure, revenue generation, heritage value, space for parking were among the criteria in the selection. These five markets are not only highly popular in Delhi, but also in the entire NCR, and their redevelopment holds significant potential for jobs generation, ”said an official, requesting anonymity.
The committee comprised of representatives of the School of Planning and Architecture (SPA), Public Works Department and Delhi Jal Board, along with Brijesh Goyal (chairman of Chamber of Trade and Industry) and Harsh Vardhan Bansal of Shopping Centers Association. The committee is headed by Pawan Kumar, chief project manager of Delhi Tourism and Transport Development Corporation (DTTDC).
Goyal said the five markets are excited about redevelopment.
The Delhi government has allocated ₹100 crore for market redevelopment plans in FY 2022-23, and the government estimates that over 1.5 lakh job opportunities will be created through this.