The contractor may be trying to wrap up the over-ground work in Connaught Place completely by December, but CP will not be construction-free at least till the dawn of 2013.
Placing the utilities underground will take at least another six months and no deadline has been set for the completion of the four new subways that will connect the Outer Circle with the main roads.
The Connaught Place restoration project had envisioned a wire-free market where telephone, electricity and water pipelines will be placed in the underground tunnel. At present, all the pipes and wires have been shoved to the side of the Middle Circle.
Since it is a huge task, the work of shifting utilities will be taken up only once all the construction work is complete. “There is some work left in the Middle Circle’s utility tunnel. Once the over-ground work is complete, we will start installing pipelines and wires underground. This work will continue till 2013. But since it will be under-ground, shoppers will not face any inconvenience,” said an official of the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC).
However, renovation work of the five existing subways is still stuck. The subways were to have modern facilities such as escalators and better security. The authorities have blamed it on the delay in getting permissions from the traffic police. Work on four of the eight new planned subways has begun only recently. The deadlines for the subways have not been declared yet. Moreover, the remaining four subways have been simply chucked out of the plan.
The original redevelopment plan had also included the installation of a central cooling unit to provide air-conditioning to the market and hot and cold water in the taps. That plan, however, has been postponed indefinitely.
“With so many delays, the NDMC and the contractors thought it best to postpone some of the projects that are not required immediately. They will be taken up once the redevelopment work is complete,” said an official of the contractor, Engineers India Limited. The other pending works include completing the façade work of the blocks and repairing drainage facilities.
Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has been personally monitoring the work every fortnight to ensure timely completion of work.