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Smart City Project: Connaught Place to become a “no-vehicle” Zone for 3 Months

Connaught Place, Wikimedia

Delhi, Jan 6, 2017: If Old Delhi is Delhi’s soul, Connaught Place is it’s heartbeat. It is one of the most busy and visited area in Delhi. In the coming days, as part of the Smart City project Connaught place will see a ban on buses and cars for three months.

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The move is being implemented by the union urban development in partnership with the New Delhi Municipal Council and Delhi Traffic Police. The three-month pilot is aimed at studying traffic flow, parking issues and experiences of pedestrians. The larger goal is to make the arrangement permanent based on the feedback received and observations made during these three months.


This decision was taken during a meet chaired by Union Minister of Urban Development M Venkaiah Naidu. The meet was attended by the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) and the Delhi Police.

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What will be done:

During these three months, people will be required to park their vehicles outside the pedestrian-only zone. Absolutely no heavy vehicles will be allowed in this zone. However, free ‘park and ride’ services will be employed from major parking areas at Shivaji Stadium, Baba Kharak Singh Marg and Palika parking. Battery operated vehicles will be employed for people to travel from the parking areas to Connaught Place.

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Idea derivation:

Famous landmarks across the globe like Camden Street in London, Boulevard Saint Laurent in Montreal, Canada, and central district of the Danish capital of Copenhagen, have pedestrian-only zones. In India, The Promenade in Puducherry which is known for its beautiful French quarters has a ban on motorized vehicles after 5 pm. This is where the idea for a vehicle free Connaught Place was derived from.

We hope this pilot experiment won’t result is reversal of problems like congestion in other areas and instead will see the light of permanency.

– prepared by Shambhavi Sinha of NewsGram. Twitter:  @shambhavispeaks

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Raja Chari: Indian American Astronaut chosen by NASA

Raja Chari, an American of Indian descent, has been chosen by NASA as one of the 12 astronauts for a new space mission.

Raja Chari. Twitter.
  • Raja Chari is an American of Indian descent chosen by NASA for the new batch of astronauts
  • Currently, he is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force
  • Chari will have to go through two years of astronaut training which begins in August

June 06, 2017: NASA has chosen 12 astronauts out of a record-breaking 18,300 applications for upcoming space missions. An American of Indian descent, Raja Chari, has successfully earned his spot in the top 12.

The astronauts were selected on the basis of expertise, education, and physical tests. This batch of 12 astronauts is the largest group selected by NASA since two decades. The group consisting of 7 men and 5 women surpassed the minimum requirements of NASA.

Born in Waterloo, Iowa, Chari graduated from Air Force Academy in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in Astronautical Engineering and Engineering Science. He went on to complete his master’s in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The astronaut is also a graduate of US Naval Test Pilot School.

Currently, Raja Chari is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force. He is the commander of 461st Flight Test Squadron and director of the F-35 Integrated Test Force at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

After Late Kalpana Chawla, Lt. Col. Raja Chari is the second Indian American astronaut chosen by NASA.

The 12 astronauts will have to go through two years of training. Upon completion, they will be assigned their missions ranging from research at the International Space Station, launching from American soil on spacecraft by private companies, to flying on deep space missions on NASA’s Orion Spacecraft.

The US Vice-President Mike Pence visited the Johnson Space Centre in Houston to announce and congratulate the new batch. Pence also said that President Trump is “fully committed” to NASA’s missions in space.

by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2393