CP restoration: Deadline whooshes by again,chief secy wants a separate one for each work

The façade work was to be completed by April-end,but work on three blocks is still pending; cracks have appeared in blocks where work was completed.

Written by Pragya Kaushika | New Delhi | Published: May 1, 2013 3:03:18 am

The façade work was to be completed by April-end,but work on three blocks is still pending; cracks have appeared in blocks where work was completed.

The Connaught Place restoration project has missed yet another deadline. On April 9,the Delhi chief secretary visited Connaught Place to review the progress of work and said the façade restoration work would be complete by April-end.

The deadline is dead but the work is nowhere near completion. The paint work and replacement of glass panes in windows are yet to be done in many of the blocks. The contractor working on the façade of B Block said it will take another week to finish it.

According to New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) officials,the chief secretary asked them to set separate deadlines for the different tasks at hand.

The work on the roof of Regal Cinema,which was to be completed by April-end,is unfinished — the roof needs to be cemented,the painting done and and glass panes on windows replaced.

According to NDMC officials,only the façade work on three blocks — B,C and Regal Cinema — is left.

When Newsline took a tour of the Inner and Outer circles,it was found that work on B Block and Regal Cinema was incomplete.

Pillo of Devi Constructions,the contractor in-charge of the work here,said,“We are given tenders to renovate the façade. The windows are yet to be fitted with glass panes. The work was initially given to another contractor who wasted years on it and,now,it has been given to us. We will finish this in a week’s time.”

In the blocks where the façade restoration has been completed,cracks have already begun to appear. The gaps have not been cemented over to give the façade a clean look.

Take the case of F Block,for instance. There are gaps between two structures here and,in E Block,the glass panes are yet to be placed.

A senior official at NDMC claimed the work has been completed and the “finishing work” is currently on.

“According to our reports,the deadline has been met and work has been finished,” the official said.

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.With April gone,separate deadlines have been set for various tasks after the chief secretary’s visit.

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