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Cong banks on big infra projects to retain power

Better roads, new flyovers, underpasses and Metro has won Delhi for the Congress thrice — twice consecutively, Atul Mathur reports.

delhi Updated: Jan 25, 2013 01:31 IST
Atul Mathur

Better roads, new flyovers, underpasses and Metro has won Delhi for the Congress thrice — twice consecutively.

With little less than an year remaining for the assembly elections, the Congress is again banking on the development card to win a record third consecutive term.

Looking to extend its winning streak, the Congress government has announced a number of infrastructure projects, which would either be completed just around the elections or would take a concrete shape by then.

According to public works department minister Rajkumar Chauhan, the Congress government has decided to spend almost Rs. 5,000 crore on the improvement of roads and construction of new flyover projects.

The party has never invested such huge amounts of money in such a short span of time in the past 14 years of being in power in the Capital. During the Commonwealth Games the PWD had spent only Rs. 3,000 on the construction of Games-related flyovers, street-scaping and improvement of signage and streetlights.

While the run-up to the Commonwealth Games saw a number of roads and flyover projects coming up in South Delhi and East Delhi, the Congress government’s focus, this time, seems to be the western and northern parts of the Capital. The R2,037 crore project to make 22-km stretch of Outer Ring Road between Vikaspuri and Wazirabad signal-free would considerably ease traffic movement in large part of West Delhi and North Delhi.

The PWD has recently awarded the contract for this project. Though the project would take a little more than two years to complete, one would be able to see large scale construction going on when Delhi will go for elections later this year. Two more projects — a road between Sanjay Gandhi Transport Nagar and Wazirabad and between Azadpur and Prembari Pul — will also cater to the electorate in west and north Delhi.

Work on 805 km of roads, which Delhi government took over from the erstwhile MCD in 2012, would also be completed just around the elections.

Chauhan said the improvement does not only include the re-carpeting or resurfacing of roads but also the construction or repair of central verge, footpath and drains along the roads and improvement of streetlights. Though the construction of Delhi’s first monorail corridor between Shastri Park and Trilokpuri in east Delhi will take almost four years, it may begin just before the elections this year. The government has already given its sanction for the project and its funding pattern is expected to be finalised soon. The Signature Bridge project would also start taking shape just around the elections.