A 1.6-km-long flyover — Rani Jhansi Road grade separator — Monday got a Rs 80-crore boost from the central government. The idea for the flyover was conceived in 1998, and it has missed multiple deadlines. The North Delhi Municipal Corporation has now set November 2017 as the deadline to complete the grade separator, which stretches from St Stephen’s Hospital to Filmistan Cinema.
North body Mayor Preeti Aggarwal said, “We went to meet Hardeep Singh Puri (Union Minister of State with Independent Charge in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs) and discussed projects of the North body that could not be completed due to financial problems. He wanted the grade separator issue to be addressed first as it has not been completed for years and sanctioned Rs 80 crore for it.”
The project, which is expected to ease congestion in several areas of north Delhi, was supposed to be complete in 2011. Proposed by the unified Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) in 1998, its construction began only in 2008, but faced several roadblocks in between due to the delay in land acquisition, shifting of religious structures and shops. The North civic body was handed the responsibility to complete the project after trifurcation, but it again missed its deadline several times.
The BJP, which rules the corporation had set January 2017 as the deadline but that too was missed. A senior North corporation official said, “Land has been acquired for the project and we will be able to complete it now. Construction is being done for 24 hours and religious structures have been given land at a separate place.”
“Lack of finances had been stalling the project, as a result of which its cost jumped from an initial estimate of Rs 177 crore to Rs 724 crore,” he said.