With the inauguration of the newly-named Kartavya Path, 1,20,000 people from across the city flocked to the India Gate on Saturday and Sunday, according to Delhi Police sources.
Many families made the famous India Gate their go-to weekend destination to resume their pre-COVID-19 routines of jogging, walking, or strolling with their young children.
Calling for perfect weather for the evening, Farida ji and her family came from Sitaram Bazar to India gate for a Sunday picnic while carrying the bed sheet spread, snacks and cold drinks stacked inside a basket beside them. It turned out to be a fun day for her and her family while clicking each others’ pictures and playing games.
When asked about the picnic plan, Farida ji said, “It feels good to be back here post lockdown. Feels like we have got a fresh air to breathe, free space for children to play and some time for family to bond.” Khufiya, who was playing with her cousins, said, “Today was our holiday, so we insisted to come here. It looks so beautiful with lights lit and most importantly the place looks so clean. I hope it remains the same always.”
A man from Sweden was actively jogging with his group of friends. He arrived in New Delhi last night for professional reasons.
While jogging with his colleagues, he said, “I landed here last night and today I am at the iconic tourist spot. It feels good. This is the first time I have been here. I will keep coming for my morning walks here till I am here.”
An adequate number of police officers were stationed at the Kartavya Path to prevent people from crossing to the other side of the road, where a statue of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose has been erected.
A senior police officer deployed at the spot said, “Large number of people have been visiting India Gate since Saturday. So, we have a good number of personnel deployed here to ensure the safety and security of public. We have also been making regular announcements urging public to not cross the road and instead use the underpass to visit the other end.” “We have not allowed vendors inside. They have been kept outside the barricades. We also need to ensure that no nuisance is created and the public can enjoy the view and return safely,” he said.
People of different age groups were present there clicking pictures on their phones. Professional photographers also rejoiced as many insisted to get their pictures clicked at the new spot.
“This is my first day today at India Gate post lockdown. Lot of people were interested in getting their pictures clicked as they were enthusiastic about the new look too,” said Mohin Ahmed, who charges Rs 30 per picture.
“Since it is a Sunday, it is going to be crowded here which is good for us and our business which we believe will pick up soon,” said Mohin Ahmed.
Priyanka who came from Aya Nagar with her family said, India Gate has got a new look with all the latest installations done.
“I am so happy to be back with my family post covid here. At least kids have a free space to play now. All the installations done here also look very good. It gives a good vibe. But yeah, being Sunday it is crowded but I am really enjoying it,” she said.
Additionally, a drone show showcasing Netaji’s life and contributions ends on Sunday.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi opened the Kartavya Path, a section of the Central Vista Avenue that runs from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate.
At busy intersections, four new pedestrian underpasses have been constructed to separate vehicular traffic from foot traffic and make the street safe to cross.
(with inputs from PTI)