New Delhi: The Kejriwal Government is going to maximise the potential of Delhi’s food hubs and put them on the world map very soon. Majnu Ka Tila and Chandini Chowk are set to get new identities as world-class food hubs under phase one of the project. Announcing the project, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, “With the development of these food hubs, business will increase in Delhi and with the strengthening of the economy, a large number of new employment opportunities will be generated. The Delhi government is working day and night to create 20 lakh jobs in the next five years.”
The CM continued, “After extensive research and several meetings with market associations, Majnu Ka Tila and Chandni Chowk have been selected to be developed as food hubs. We will make arrangements for roads, electricity, water and sanitation inside the food hubs; all guidelines of food safety and hygiene will be strictly followed. Delhi’s Food Hubs will be promoted with unique branding all over the country and the world, so that people coming to Delhi from across the globe can experience our food hubs.”
At the same time, the CM also announced a design competition for the project, saying, “Within the next six weeks, we will conduct a design competition, in which designs will be sought from the country’s top architecture firms to develop both the markets. In the next 12 weeks, the architectural design will be finalised and the contracts will be granted to start the work of developing both the food hubs. Based on the experiences received from both the food hubs, all the food hubs in Delhi will be identified and developed in the next phase.”
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, Today, a very serious problem of unemployment has arisen across the country. There are many unemployed youth in Delhi too. In the last few years, since the formation of the Aam Aadmi Party government, till today, we have provided employment for about 12 to 13 lakh youth through our sincere efforts. Within the next five years, we have set a target to create jobs for 20 lakh youths. I, with my entire government, am working day and night to generate employment. We are coming up with many new ideas, so that employment opportunities can be created for the youth of Delhi.”
Announcing the Delhi’s Food Hubs Project, CM Arvind Kejriwal said, “Delhi is considered the food capital of India. The people of Delhi are very fond of eating and feeding both. All types of food are available in Delhi including South Indian, Marathi, Gujarati, Bengali. Food from all over the world is available in Delhi. Be it Italian, Chinese or Asian, it is definitely available in Delhi. Although Delhi is called the Food Capital of India, we have planned to take this concept forward in a good way. All the food hubs of Delhi, will be developed to maximise their potential. There are many food hubs where Tibetan food is good. Somewhere Chinese food is good. Somewhere Punjabi food is good. There are food hubs in many places inside Delhi, where all kinds of food are available. We have a plan to develop these as global food hubs.
The CM said, “We will transform the physical infrastructure inside these food hubs. The roads, electricity, water, and sanitation facilities will be fixed there. Second, complete arrangements for food safety will be made inside the food hub, so that everyone strictly follows all the guidelines of food safety and hygiene. Third, the food hubs will be branded across the country and around the world. So that people coming to Delhi from around the country and the world can come to our food hubs too. We are hopeful that this will generate a lot of jobs. Initially on a pilot basis, we are going to develop two food hubs in the first phase. A lot of research was done on this and food hubs across Delhi were inspected by our teams. Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia held several meetings with the Market Associations of the food hubs. Now, we have identified two food hubs for the first phase. The first is Majnu Ka Tila. Majnu Ka Tila is a very famous place especially for the students, the kids of DU and is famous for Asian cuisine. The second one is Chandni Chowk. There are lots of food options available around Chandni Chowk, which will be developed as world-class food hubs.”
The CM continued, “We will organise a design competition to develop these food hubs. The country’s most famous architecture firms will be invited to submit designs on how these two markets can be developed. We will organise this design competition within the coming six weeks. We expect to finalise the design of the architecture and contract it out to the architecture firm in the next 12 weeks. After that the work of developing these two food hubs will start rapidly. Based on the experiences of these two projects, the work of identifying and developing all the food hubs will start in the whole of Delhi in the next phase. I am hopeful that this will bring a different identity to Delhi and generate a lot of jobs for the children.”
Delhi’s culinary culture set to get a new identity
What is the Food Hubs Redevelopment initiative?
● One of the hallmarks of Delhi is the variety of cuisines and food offered here. Be it the street food that ranges from Tibetan momos to tantalising gol gappe, world-famous dal makhani, best butter chicken or everyone’s favourite chole bhature and paranthe, Delhi has it all. It isn’t called the food capital of India for no reason.
● ‘Dilli ke Food hubs’ are rich in cultural and historical importance. The food items offered here are years old recipes passed through generations. We want to popularize them as one of the destinations that tourists, both domestic and foreign, must have on their check list whenever they visit the city.
● Additionally, these hubs have the potential that if there is a slight increase in the business here with the cooperation of the Government, then thousands of new jobs can be created here.
● For the same, GNCTD announced the initiative ‘Redevelopment of Dilli Food Hubs’ under the Rozgar Budget 2022-23. Under this, the government will revamp 2 iconic food hubs in the Phase-1 of redevelopment.
The objective of the scheme is to further build on the “eating/food” experience of the customers and develop these hubs in tourist destinations by: 1. Comprehensive redevelopment of the physical infrastructure: Roads, Sewage, Lighting, Parking etc. 2. Food safety and hygiene: Food Hubs will be motivated to adopt benchmark food safety and hygiene guidelines which will be developed by the Food Safety Department. 3. Branding the Food Hubs which have a significant historical and cultural importance: Developing a unique brand for these food hubs and marketing to promote food tourism in Delhi
The Government of Delhi will execute the project on the basis of the following three broad pillars:
1. Coordination between different authorities : Tourism Department and DTTDC have been given the responsibility of bringing all the involved departments/authorities under one umbrella and lead the implementation of this scheme.
2. Partnership with the Market Associations: Multiple meetings (one-on-one as well as combined meetings at Dy CM level) have been held with the associations to ensure they are equal partners in the process leading to better sharing of responsibility and ownership.
3. Design Competition: A Design Competition will be launched for each hub that will help in getting the best ‘out of box idea’ for redeveloping the hub. The hub will be developed based on the core USP of the food items offered to create a unique brand. The same will be leveraged for developing a unique marketing campaign for each hub.
Progress So Far:
1. Selection of Food Hubs: To select the 2 food hubs for redevelopment in 1st phase, a. Detailed analysis of all the food hubs across Delhi was done by a team which physically visited the hubs to understand the ground realities with respect to unique food items offered, number of shops per hub, challenges with respect to civil infrastructure, brand value, footfall etc.
b. Following the research, a stakeholder consultation was convened by the Deputy CM to kickstart the selection process on 13 th June 2022 in which representatives from various food hubs participated.
c. Basis the discussion and keeping in mind various parameters such as need and ease of intervention, interest of the Food hub associations etc, following 2 iconic food hubs for Phase 1 were selected as part of the scheme:
Majnu ka Tila: Also known as ‘Delhi’s Little Tibet’, it is one of the fastest growing food destinations in the capital. The hub is a famous spot for students and offers a range of pan-Asian cuisine.
Chandini Chowk, The food of the market is famous all over the world. The culinary origins here trace back to the kitchens of Mughal emperors.
As the next step, a Design Competition will be launched for each of these 2 iconic food hubs within 6 weeks to get best out-of-the-box, innovative ideas from various architectural/urban design firms both within India as well as out of India. Within 12 weeks, top notch architectural teams will be appointed and will begin their work in redeveloping these 2 iconic food hubs to their fullest potential 3. Project Implementation a. Implementation will be taken up in multiple packages as soon as the architectural firms are appointed, and they have identified immediate works that need to be carried out as part of an overall redevelopment/redesign plan for the hubs. Market Associations of these 2 food hubs have already been taken onboard, who have promised their unconditional support for the smoother implementation and later maintenance of the projects.