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Vikaspuri-Wazirabad elevated road: Religious structures continue to delay project

After the tendering process and other formalities were completed, ground work on the stretch was started in 2013.

Written by Shalini Narayan | New Delhi |
May 25, 2015 2:20:43 am
Vikaspuri-Wazirabad , Vikaspuri-Wazirabad  road, PWD, ROW, UTTIPEC , delhi news, city news, local news, Indian Express The estimated cost of the entire project is Rs 2,200 crore with estimated losses due to encroachments amounting to Rs 100 crore so far.

Three years after it was commissioned, the corridor improvement plan of the 23 km long Vikaspuri-Wazirabad elevated road project is in limbo. Reportedly, 11 religious structures are in the ‘Right of Way’. Talks between the Public Works Department (PWD) and the Delhi government has failed to make any headway in this matter over the past two years.

Sources in the government said at least six meetings have been held between the PWD and other government agencies including the Delhi Police and the municipal corporations with the government’s Religious Committee.

However, in every meeting, sources said, two issues were raised. The first is the fear of a riot in case the structures are demolished. The second is the lobbying by political parties on behalf of religious communities.

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The religious structures include a church near Kangra Niketan in Vikaspuri, seven temples near Keshavpur Depot, CRPF red light, Arya Samaj Mandir near Kangra Niketan, Kali Mata Mandir near Deepali Chowk and near Ring Road Mall, Shiv Gorakh Nath Mandir near Badli Chowk and Peer Baba near Burari Chowk.

Asked why the presence of these structures was not incorporated at the time the plan was sanctioned, a senior government official explained that the land has already been incorporated in the ‘Right of Way’ (ROW) in the Master Plan before the structures came up.

Government rules permit authorities to remove legitimate structures along the ROW, by giving a compensation amount which is three times the market rate. However, the official explained, if the structures have come up along the ROW and have encroached upon it, authorities have every right to remove them.

“This issue is a sensitive one since these are religious structures. We have tried reasoning it out with the temple trustees, the Gurdwara owners and the church owners. However, every time the issue is raised, either a political party creates a problem or police point out fears of riots. This has stalled the corridor improvement plan. For now, we are concentrating on the construction of the elevated corridor which will most likely be completed by this December,” an official said.

Officials said the corridor was sanctioned in 2012 by Unified Traffic and Transportation Infrastructure (Planning and Engineering) Center (UTTIPEC).

After the tendering process and other formalities were completed, ground work on the stretch was started in 2013.

The estimated cost of the entire project is Rs 2,200 crore with estimated losses due to encroachments amounting to Rs 100 crore so far.

According to the plan, apart from an elevated corridor, improvement would be brought about by creating a pedestrian-friendly green belt which would include cycle tracks, footpaths and pedestrian walkways.

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