The newly appointed chairman of New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) Jalaj Srivastava said one of the first tasks as chief of the municipal body would be to complete the redevelopment of Connaught Place,a project which has missed several deadlines now,by September.
The project has caused a lot of inconvenience to the public. I have asked Engineers India Limited (EIL),the firm which has been outsourced the project,to finish it on a time-bound manner. Not a single extra day will be given to them over and above the time fixed for completion of work. I can assure you that the work will be completed within September, Srivastava said.
The chairman said a miscommunication between Engineers India Limited and Councils officials had led to the delay in finishing the project.
Srivastava said the Connaught Place redevelopment project was a huge visible reminder of the tasks that needed to be completed soon.
It is learnt that the Chairman has directed all senior NDMC officials to take a detour on their way to office every day and visit Connaught Place to ensure that the work is progressing as planned.
Connaught Place is just next to our office and it does not hurt if we take a detour and then come to office. I too have started taking tours of CP to assess the work, Srivastava said. The Chairman has already inspected the work along with EIL and NDMC officials.
There were tasks which EIL officials claimed would be done in 15 days. Our officials gave the firm three days time to finish the same task and EIL has agreed to complete it within the stipulated time, Srivastava said.
Srivastava said he will have weekly meetings with EIL officials and other stakeholders to take stock of the work completed and what remained to be done.
The CP restoration project was conceived in April 2004,but the final approval from Delhi Urban Art Commission came only in November 2008. The continuous delays and poor contract management has caused the project cost to go up from Rs 76 crore in 2005 to
Rs 671 crore in 2007.
In June 2012,the cost estimate was revised to Rs 477 crore. The scope of work was also reduced by junking the four proposed subways at Yusufzai Market,Estate Entry Road,Chelmsford Road and P Block,SBS Marg.
The project was to be completed before October 2010. The deadline was then pushed to 2011 which was further extended to March 2012 and then to December 2012.
In 2013,NDMC chairperson said the work will be finished by March. In April,separate deadlines were set for various tasks after a visit by the chief secretary.
Other works on Srivastavas priority list are drainage,electricity connections and a proper sewage system in Central Delhi to avoid water-logging in the area.