Deadlines long past,underpass work crawls

Cost of building two underpasses doubles as DDA blames delays in shifting of utility services,incomplete Railways work

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: September 3, 2013 1:55 am

Their deadlines long past,two underpasses being constructed by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) are hanging fire with no clarity on when these would be ready. One of the underpasses connects Jangpura to Lajpat Nagar,while the other links Sarita Vihar to Okhla Industrial Area.

Both projects were planned around five to six years ago and reasons such as delay in shifting shops were cited for missing deadlines. The delay has resulted in cost overruns,apart from inconveniencing residents.

The construction of the underpass connecting Jangpura to Lajpat Nagar is expected to put an end to constant waiting at the Lajpat Nagar railway crossing and to decongest the area under the Defence Colony flyover.

Work on the project started in March 2011,even though the blueprint was finalised in 2007 with a 21-month deadline. “The underpass is being constructed by DDA and Railways. While the initial cost of the project was Rs 17.62 crore,it has now gone up to Rs 34 crore due to increase in the scope of work,” a DDA official said.

The underpass starts a little ahead of the Jangpura Metro station on Kuldeep Singh Gujral Marg and,through a loop,leads up to the Defence Colony flyover with a railway box made under the railway crossing. “A few shops still need to be shifted from under the Defence Colony flyover. Till that happens,work cannot be taken up in that area,” the official said.

Confirming this,DDA spokesperson Neemo Dhar said: “Relocation of shops is involved,leading to delays.”

According to RWA of Jangpura,they were initially told that the project would be completed by December 2012,but the deadline was later shifted to March 2013. “Every time we ask them,they say the work will be completed soon,” Monu Chaddha from the RWA said.

In the case of the Sarita Vihar underpass,the original cost was Rs 127 crore. The project began in 2008 and the cost has nearly doubled to Rs 242 crore.

This underpass connects Okhla Industrial Area with Kalindi Kunj on the Noida side. After construction of this underpass,the length of road route from Sarita Vihar to Okhla will reduce to 1 km from the existing 9 km.

This project was originally supposed to be completed by the end of 2010. It has since missed several deadlines and has led to pothole-ridden roads in the area around it. “Work is held up as Northern Railway needs to complete its work,” Dhar said.

The alignment of the underpass had to be changed with Metro pillars coming in the way. also leading to delays.

Meanwhile,Railways officials claimed that they would finish work by the end of the year.

“The entire project will be completed by March 2014,” an official said. Railways is using the box-pushing technology under the railway tracks.

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