After a five-month setback owing to pollution control measures in the winter of 2019 and this year’s Covid lockdown, the Shastri Park and Seelampur flyovers were inaugurated by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Saturday afternoon.
The CM said the flyovers will provide relief to those living beyond the Yamuna: “No previous government or CM paid heed to the issues of the people of East Delhi. They were always alienated. Because I used to live there before becoming CM, I am well aware of the problems faced including hours of traffic jams.”
Kejriwal also hailed the Public Works Department (PWD) for constructing the flyovers on time while staying well within the budget. The project was initially sanctioned for Rs 303 crore, and was eventually finished in Rs 250 crore. “The money saved was earlier used by ministers to fill their own pockets; we use this money to provide free amenities, healthcare, medicines, quality education to our citizens,” said the CM.
Work began in February 2019 and 70% of it was completed by the end of the year. But owing to setbacks, full-fledged work only started post lockdown.
Among those at the inauguration were PWD Minister Satyendar Jain, PWD engineer-in-chief Shashi Kant and Seelampur MLA Abdul Rehman. The CM cut the ribbon at the Shastri Park flyover at 12 pm. After delivering his address, he headed to Seelampur to inaugurate the second flyover.
The 700-metre Shastri Park flyover, built along GT Road, has six lanes and two loops — one designed to ease traffic going from Khajuri Khas to ISBT and the other for traffic going from Pushta Road or Gandhi Nagar to Shahdara.
A PWD official said: “There used to be a lot of traffic at the Shastri Park junction. Previously, the road would be choked by buses using GT Road to go towards UP. Further, Pushta Road, which is a feeder road, had a lot of traffic as vehicles going from Akshardham to Bhajanpura would use this road.” The flyover will now cut travel time significantly.
Similarly, the old Seelampur flyover going towards Shahdara from Kashmere Gate was one-way. “Hence, going towards Shahdara was okay. But for people who stay in Seelampur, going towards ISBT or Gandhi Nagar was very difficult. The second 1,200-metre-long two-lane Seelampur flyover will ease that,” explained the official. The flyover, however, is one way.
PWD Minister Jain said, “The CM has also envisioned a children’s park under the flyover, and very soon that vision too will be transformed into reality.”
Imran (26), who travels from Maujpur to Tank Road for work every day, said, “The flyovers will reduce travel time by at least 15 minutes every day. Earlier, it used to take 55 minutes on scooter.”
An official of the contract company, Gawar Construction Ltd, said, “Work stopped thrice: first in winter 2019 because of pollution, after the Northeast Delhi riots and when the lockdown was imposed. It restarted on May 4.”
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