The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) has mastered the art of missing deadlines, it seems. After failing to meet four deadlines for the completion of the restoration work at Connaught Place, the civic agency missed yet another deadline on Friday.
The façade restoration is not complete in many blocks such as E Block, D Block and A Block in the Inner Circle. In the Middle Circle, the NDMC has barely managed to finish laying the roads and the façade is not restored in any of the blocks.
The scaffolding is still there, indicating that the work is yet to be completed at these sites.
The Delhi government had set September 10 as the new deadline to complete the work at the heritage market.
"This is unbelievable. I had come to Connaught Place a month ago but even today the work is going on. I don't think the façade restoration will be complete before the Games," said Rahul Dagar, 21, an engineering student from Ghaziabad.
Parking lots, where patches of grass were to be grown before the Games, are still in the process of being constructed. At A block, the debris was being removed from the parking lot and labourers were laying new pipes at the periphery on Thursday afternoon.
But, despite evidence suggesting otherwise, authorities maintain that most of the work in CP is complete. "Ninety-nine per cent of the work is complete. No major project is remaining. Most of the façade restoration is complete and almost all parking spaces are complete. We are just left with finishing touches," said Anand Tiwari, spokesperson, NDMC.
The building of the Regal Theatre in Connaught Circus has just been painted, the façade restoration has been given a miss there. The windows in the building are yet to be replaced.
Workers at the site blame the incessant rainfall for the delay. "As soon as the water dries up and we begin work, another bout of rain takes us back to square one. We have to stop work completely when it rains," said a construction worker.
The Middle Circle and the four subways that were supposed to open before the Games were also inaccessible till Friday.
"The Middle Circle will be open for use on Monday and the four subways will be handed over and ready to use by next week," Tiwari added.
Earlier in the day, NDMC chairman Parimal Rai launched a cleaning drive in the market.