The stretch of the Ring Road between Red Fort to Rajghat is set for a makeover with four citizen-friendly parks along it, officials in lieutenant governor (LG) VK Saxena’s office who are aware of the project said on Saturday, adding that the redevelopment work will be along the lines of the beautification project that was undertaken across the city in the run-up to the recently concluded G20 Summit.
The officials said that the Dilli Chalo Park, Ghata Masjid Park, Urdu Academy Park and Sadbhavana Park — all facing along one of the oldest arterial stretches of Delhi — have been transferred from the jurisdiction of the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) to Delhi Development Authority (DDA), which will begin redeveloping them a different theme each starting October.
They said the parks, with a combined area of 35.04 acres, will get a facelift with the use of marble and other stone sculptures and artefacts, water bodies, fountains, exotic plants and trees like cherry blossom and chinar, along with flowers and manicured gardens, with the total cost of the project pegged at around ₹21 crore.
The medieval walls of the Walled City, spanning across three of these parks, will also be repaired and restored. Space has also been earmarked for an open gym, weather-resilient stone benches for seating, cafeteria, public convenience, vendors and sufficient parking, the officials said.
“The LG first visited this historical stretch in May and asked officials to redevelop the area. The first hindrance in this regard was flagged in the shape of land ownership of these parks. It took the LG’s efforts with MoHUA (Union ministry of housing and urban affairs) and minister Hardeep Puri’s personal intervention, for the possession of the land to be handed over to DDA for works to commence,” an official from the LG’s office said, declining to be named.
He added that the redevelopment of the parks will be especially beneficial for the residents of Daryaganj, Chandni Chowk, Asaf Ali Road, Sitaram Bazar, Matia Mahal and Ballimaran, and will also serve as a visual delight to commuters plying between north and south Delhi.
The officials said that white marble will be used as the primary material in pathways and water features at Sadbhavana Park, with a high sitting plaza inspired from traditional “baradari” with flower beds around it, and chhatris and life-size sculptures of various forms to be incorporated.
“Cherry blossoms will be planted along the rear pathway, and chinar trees will be planted in the backdrop of an Apollo plaza, on the lines of the Versailles Gardens near Paris. While certain sculptures, artefacts and fountains have already been acquired, the LG has directed DDA officials to immediately identify the artisans and sculptors so that the work at the site could be started at the earliest,” he said.
The official added that structures like chhatris and lanterns inspired from Red Fort’s architecture will be incorporated as features at the Dilli Chalo Park, and decentralised sewage treatment plants (DSTPs) will be installed to meet the horticultural and waste water disposal requirements.
Similarly, at the Urdu Academy and Ghata Masjid parks, informal water features may be added near the bastion of the Walled City, he said.