NEW DELHI: The newly-christened Kartavya Path resembled a picnic spot as hundreds thronged the national capital landmark with family and friends to celebrate New Year’s eve after a Covid-induced two-year gap.
Visitors, including some children who arrived as part of a school trip, rushed to the venue from distant parts of the national capital to spend some quality time with their friends and families.
While the children enjoyed the remote-controlled car rides along the lake, their parents kept themselves entertained with board games.
Rajni Bhalla, who came with her family from Lajpat Nagar, said it had been an annual ritual for them to ring in the new year at the spot but the outbreak of COVID-19 forced them to keep the celebrations indoors.
“I feel excited. This is the first time that I have come here since the inauguration of Kartavya Path. It looks appealing and the weather is also pleasant. We usually prefer coming here to spend some quality time with our family instead of going to crowded malls and markets.
“Even though a large number of people also come here, there’s ample space for everyone,” she said.
Eleven-year-old Raj, who came to Kartavya Path with his parents and friends, said, “I love playing games with my friends and enjoy coming here because we have a huge space. We played ludo, football and hide and seek.”
Many were seen taking selfies and getting their pictures clicked to remember the day.
Prashant Singh, a professional photographer, said, “With good quality camera phones available, a lot of people prefer taking selfies. But there is still a section that loves to get pictures clicked by professionals.
“It’s been a good day so far since I have got many customers. Also because it’s the new year, many people want multiple photographs clicked.”
With the crowds soaring, street vendors are also looking forward to a bumper day.
Rama Shankar, who sells plastic balls and toys at Kartavya Path, said, “It’s been a good start so far. Hundreds of people have come with their children and I have made more money so far than on other days.
“I expect to do better business in the coming days. This new year has been a blessing for street vendors like us.”
Rajeev Sharma, who came with his family to enjoy some quality time, said, “It was good to catch up with the extended family here. We decided to spend time together taking a stroll, having snacks and then heading for dinner in Connaught Place.”
Earlier called Rajpath, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the newly-christened Kartavya Path — the stretch from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate.
The new stretch is more pedestrian-friendly because of the 15.5-km red granite walkways that have replaced the bajri sand which lined the ground earlier.
Four new pedestrian underpasses have been built at busy junctions to segregate vehicular traffic from pedestrian movement, making the street safer to cross. (PTI)