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HindustanTimes Sat,20 Sep 2014

Setting deadlines won't help Connaught Place redevelopment project

Ritam Halder , Hindustan Times  New Delhi, July 02, 2013
First Published: 00:39 IST(2/7/2013) | Last Updated: 10:56 IST(2/7/2013)

It was a project that was planned to be completed in two years at a cost of Rs. 76 crore. Five years and Rs. 671 crore later, the Connaught Place Redevelopment Plan is still on.

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The project missed yet another deadline on Monday even though the New Delhi Municipal Council claimed that the restoration of the shopping arcade has been "completed".

But the claim can only hold true on paper because on the ground a massive mesh of electricity wires, open water and sewage lines, debris, dug up roads, ongoing construction at several spots, yet-to-be-made operational escalators and missing CCTVs and public address systems exposes how hollow the claim is.   

However, Atul Bhargava, a shop owner at Connaught Place and president of New Delhi Traders' Association, said the final deadline is over but the majority of the groundwork is also over.

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"Work on electricity, water and sewage lines is still on. The civic agency has nearly completed the work. Subways will take time. The escalators, too, have come in but they need to be installed," Bhargava said.

Karan Singh Tanwar, BJP MLA and an NDMC member, said the project incharge, Engineers India Limited, should be removed. "Some other firm should have been engaged years ago.

A CBI probe should be ordered. It has become a joke. I had raised the issue time and again in council meetings. The implementing agency should have been issued a warning or fined. The contract has been also given in a wrong way," Tanwar said.


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