Power play hits Games
Yet another infrastructure project may miss the Commonwealth Games deadline. The PWD has made little progress to widen and make the UP Link Road, which connects Akshardham crossing on National Highway 24 and Noida, signal-free for straight-moving traffic, reports Atul Mathur.delhi Updated: Jun 08, 2009 00:17 IST
Yet another infrastructure project may miss the Commonwealth Games deadline.
The public works department (PWD) has made little progress to widen and make the UP Link Road, which connects Akshardham crossing on National Highway 24 and Noida, signal-free for straight-moving traffic.
The Uttar Pradesh government is yet to hand over a chunk of land it owns along the Yamuna for infrastructure projects in east Delhi. The PWD requires 25.5 acres of land for corridor improvement of UP Link Road and another 40 acres for the construction of the East-West corridor.
Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) also needs a piece of land for its Yamuna Bank-Noida line. Delhi Development Authority (DDA) has put its project to construct additional clove-leaves on Akshardham flyover, an important Games project, on hold as it failed to get a piece of 10-acre land for the project.
Delhi chief secretary Rakesh Mehta said: “The UP government wants use of land it owns near Sarita Vihar changed from freight corridor to commercial and institutional in return. But it is the DDA’s prerogative.”
Delhi government sources said the UP government owns 350 acres of land behind Sarita Vihar in south Delhi. UP chief minister Mayawati wants to build an integrated city on that land. She cannot go ahead with the project unless the DDA changes the land use of the project, which is a long process.
The stalemate between the DDA and the UP government is adversely affecting the city’s infrastructure projects.
PWD officials said the improvement of UP Link Road, along with the Akshardham flyover project, is important to improve traffic circulation around the Commonwealth Games Village on NH24.
The PWD has proposed adding one lane each on either side of the 3.4-km-long UP Link Road. It would construct one single carriageway and one double carriageway flyovers on three traffic intersections to make straight movement signal-free. Construction of a small bridge on Chilla Regulator is another part of this Rs 334-crore project.
PWD engineers said they have started construction of the additional lane on land that belongs to Delhi. The project also requires cutting of 1,533 trees, 533 in Delhi and 1,000 in UP.
The Games are 16 months away while the project, said PWD officials, needs 18 months to be completed. “We can still do it in time if the land is transferred immediately,” said PWD chief engineer (CW Games division) BB Bhatia.