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Falling flyovers

Delhi has been rightly rechristened as city of flyovers with new flyover projects. But when it comes to the maintenance and repair of the existing projects, the city seems to be fairing very badly, reports Atul Mathur.

delhi Updated: Jun 25, 2008 23:51 IST
Atul Mathur

Delhi has been rightly rechristened as city of flyovers with new flyover projects coming up in every part of the national capital. But when it comes to the maintenance and repair of the existing projects, the city seems to be fairing very badly.

Most flyovers and railway over-bridges in Delhi are in a bad shape. Railings are broken, bitumen is wearing off and cracks have developed. Interestingly, the Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways has clear guidelines that annual inspection of each over-bridge project should be carried out by an official of superintending engineer level. The condition of most flyovers, however, tells the sordid tale of official apathy.


Even the MCD officials accept that Shadipur flyover is in a bad shape and warrants immediate repair. The 37-year-old flyover, said a source, requires strengthening to save the precarious bridge from any further damage.

“The flyover needs overhauling — from repair of grills and re-carpeting of road to strengthening of pillars and its spans. The flyover is quite old and we need to get on to the job immediately,” said a senior MCD official requesting anonymity.

Partial repair has already been carried out. The rest of the job is getting delayed due to lack of agreement between the MCD and the Delhi traffic police on diversion of traffic during the repair work. The MCD wants to keep one carriageway closed at a time while the repair work is on. Traffic police officers said they don’t have alternate routes to divert such a heavy volume of traffic during the repair work.

Delhi Cantonment

The major link between Delhi Cantonment and various west Delhi colonies is in pathetic condition. Railings are either broken or crumbling and the bitumen surface has worn off at many places. Though some repair work has indeed been carried out and broken railing has been replaced by brick wall, it does not seem sufficient. The railway over-bridge requires immediate overhauling.


One of the longest flyovers in Delhi, the Shahdara flyover is one the most neglected flyovers as well. The MCD has recently completed construction of its two arms but failed to repair the broken railings and gaps between two spans. “We have already initiated repair of three over-bridges. For rest of the projects, we are in process of hiring consultants for identifying repair jobs,” said Ravi Dass, engineer-in-chief, MCD.

Paharganj (near Sheela cinema hall), Janak setu, Ashok Vihar, Zakhira, Defence Colony and Sewa Nagar are some of the flyovers being maintained by the MCD.

Loni Road

Constructed by Public Works Department (PWD) about three years ago, the Loni Road flyover on Wazirabad Road has already started showing chinks. Iron grill put up on the joints is missing at various places. Bitumen is wearing off at many places and road surface is also not as smooth as it should have been.

While PWD engineer-in-chief could not be contacted despite repeated attempts, a senior PWD official said the flyover is still under defect liability period and should be regularly maintained by the company that has constructed it.

“But some of the older flyovers like the one near Oberoi and another at Moolchand and Safdurjung are being repaired,” said a PWD official. “Most flyovers were constructed during the Asian Games in 1982 and are being regularly maintained,” he added.