An uninterrupted and smooth walking and shopping experience in Connaught Place (CP) is still a few months away — at least till May.
“Connaught Place will continue to remain dug up till April-May,” said Archana Arora, chairperson of New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), on Monday.
After missing several deadlines, the redevelopment work of CP was expected to be over by December, 2012. But work still remains in two of the 12 blocks in this British-era market.
And despite continuous delays, the contractor EIL may just go scot-free with the municipal body unwilling to take action against it. Arora said the focus is on completing the project and not pointing fingers.
“At this stage, we want the project to be completed. Once that is done, we will see if the contractor is to be blamed for the delays,” she said.
Arora also listed the work that still needed to be done at the commercial hub. This included building more subways and shifting of services such as electricity, telecommunication, fire hydrants, water supply, irrigation, etc., underground. According to the chairperson, the municipal body will start laying the roads with bitumen after January 15, when the city gets warmer.
“A major part of the work is complete and we expect the project to be over by April-May,” Arora said.
The Connaught Place restoration project was envisioned in 2005 when every agency in Delhi such as the DDA, MCD and PWD were asked to submit their plans for the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
Work started in May 2009 with October 2010 as the deadline. While the budget was first kept at R675 crore, it has now been slashed to R400 crore as the original plan was revised.