Unhappy over the slow pace of the Rs. 600-crore Connaught Place redevelopment project, chief minister Sheila Dikshit on Thursday met NDMC chairperson Archana Arora and told her to carry out a special inspection of the site so that work can be expedited.
“We are not happy with the pace of the work. Though the contractor has promised it will be completed by December, we are not that hopeful. I have asked the chief secretary PK Tripathi and the chairperson to carry out a special inspection of the site and make recommendations,” said Dikshit.
In the past, the CM had pulled up the contractor Engineers India Limited (EIL) several times for the delay. The project was supposed to be over before 2010 CWG. The contractor has been assuring Dikshit that work will get over by December, but she has not accepted his assurances at its face value, saying the project has missed several deadlines.
In Thursday’s meeting, Dikshit directed NDMC to review the progress regularly as delay in the project was causing losses to traders and inconveniencing the public.
Representatives of New Delhi Traders Association have been requesting Dikshit to ensure early completion of work as they were incurring losses.
With monsoons to reach Delhi soon, traders fear that a dug-up CP will once again turn into a mud-pit. But a senior official of NDMC said that the civic body is in the process of removing debris and soil from the area.
In September last year too, Dikshit had issued a similar directive and told the contractor to prepare a chart listing the progress of the project on a monthly basis. Sources said the original deadline for the completion of the restoration project was March 2012. But as one of the contractors abandoned work midway, the deadline had to be pushed to 2013.