Parks to open till late night

Visitors welcome up to 11 pm at those run by NDMC

In a bold step to promote nightlife in the city notorious for rapes, the New Delhi Municipal Council has extended the evening hours of its three big parks till 11 pm.

The experiment of offering additional four hours of use to visitors in the evening has been on for over two months at Lodhi Garden, Nehru Park and Talkatora Garden, said an official.

“It has been a quiet and slow launch,” said a top NDMC official, claiming that the civic agency is looking forward to word of mouth publicity on the initiative.

The idea is to give access to additional green areas, like India Gate lawns, to people for evening picnics in the heart of the city, he said. The civic agency expected the gains from the experiment to peak in summer when more people step out of homes for spending their evenings outdoors.

The initiative is modelled on the practice in London where green zones like the famous Hyde Park opens at 5 am and remains open until midnight all year around.

“Maybe very soon some schools could be encouraged to organise evening picnics in these parks,” the official said.

Earlier, the civic agency used to shut down all its parks in the evening by 7 in winter and 8 in summer.

“A changing lifestyle and unconventional working hours leave time for some people for a walk in evening only. This will, hopefully, encourage them to use the extended hours for their good health,” said an official.

We want to promote responsible and secure night life in the city and this is a beginning in that direction, he said, adding that CCTV coverage will also be a part of the plan.

Apart from appointing private security guards at the three parks, the NDMC had to enhance the white lighting in the green areas for late night use, said an official.

A few suggestions by the civic agency did not get a favourable response and had to be put on hold.

“We wanted to enhance the visitor’s morning and evening experience by adding a facility of instrumental music being played through small speakers. However, at some places the daily walkers resisted the move,” said another official.
DH News Service

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