Slow pace of construction and sluggish work by contractors have delayed the three flyovers in the city that is already running 21 months behind schedule with only 60% of the work done so far, say officials.
The deadlines of the flyover projects at Balliwala, Ballupur and inter-state bus terminus (ISBT) which have seen two extensions may be extended further, said Hariom Sharma, chief engineer with the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI).
The deadline has been further extended to January 2016 for the Balliwala and Ballupur flyovers March 2016 for the ISBT flyovers and only 60% of the work has been completed so far, Sharma told Hindustan Times. “There are chances that the deadlines would be further extended,” he said.
Slow pace of construction has not only created difficulties for residents but police too are facing challenges in managing traffic.
While the government is keen in setting up a Smart City on the outskirts of Dehradun, the pace of ongoing development projects in the capital is pathetic, residents and police say.
Formally inaugurated in March 2013, the objective of the flyovers was to ease the traffic pressure at the three main city intersections for smooth commuting. But it has been than two months since the construction work started and once again it seems that projects will not meet the third deadlines of January and March.
The first deadline for the project was March 2014 and until then less than 10% construction was completed so it was extended to March 2015. However, less than 40% works was completed.
According to officials, the initial two-year delay was because the state government had failed to take the mandatory non-objection certificate from the Centre under the National Highway Act.
In April 2015, the government finally received the clearance and construction work picked up.
Further delays were due to sluggish work of Engineers Projects India Limited — the company contracted by the state government — which has further sub-contracted the projects.
Lack of monitoring by the state government has further delayed the projects.
Balliwala flyover, which was initially approved to be made into a four-lane carriageway, has been reduced to a two-lane one due to lack of space on both sides. The government has already spent Rs 26 crore on the project until now.
Similarly, for the Ballupur and the ISBT flyovers, Rs 28 crore and Rs 47 crore have been spent respectively. The government needs to spend Rs 80 crore to complete the three projects.
“We are now taking monthly review of flyover projects so that construction work is completed. There is no other option than to extend the deadline, but we are trying our best to meet deadline this time,” said Shailendra Mishra, executive engineer NHAI, Roorkee.
The construction delay has made commuting on city roads a nightmare, said Anuj Malhotra, who lives near the Balliwala intersection. “We are fed up with this project. They have dug-up the main road at several places which has narrowed the route and choked traffic…” he said.
Sneha Rawat, a resident of Ballupur Chowk said: “People have narrowly escaped accident because of dug-up roads and steel sheets outlining the flyover construction area. Why don’t they take inspiration from Delhi government where such projects are built overnight?”
Maintaining traffic too had has become a difficult task for the police.
“We had requested the administration not to do construction work during day time as it chokes traffic,” said Dhirendra Gunjiyal, superintendent of police (traffic).