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First Games casualty

Akshardham Setu is the first Commonwealth Games-linked project that has succumbed to poor planning and delays.

delhi Updated: Mar 03, 2009 23:54 IST
Atul Mathur

Akshardham Setu is the first Commonwealth Games-linked project that has succumbed to poor planning and delays.

Delhi Development Authority (DDA) will not be able to make Akshardham traffic junction on National Highway 24 signal free before the Commonwealth Games in 2010.

Senior DDA officials said the UP government was yet to hand over about 10-acre land to the southwest of the traffic junction, which is required to execute the project.

With just 19 months to the Games and a cloud of uncertainty still looming over physical transfer of land, DDA has decided to shelve its plan to make the junction signal free.

“We have a strict deadline to follow and the UP government is yet to hand over its land along the UP Link Road. In this situation we have decided not to take up the project. We will only modify the design of the existing cloverleaf and of the
slip roads in all four directions for better flow of traffic,” a senior DDA engineer said on condition of anonymity.

On DDA’s request, the Unified Traffic and Transportation Infrastructure (Planning and Engineering) Centre (UTTIPEC) also approved phased improvement of the traffic intersection in its meeting last week.

DDA had proposed to make the Akshardham crossing signal free by constructing three more cloverleaves and three slip roads and integrating them with the existing flyover.

The flyover has a unique design and all the three cloverleaves are to be constructed in the southwest of the traffic junction on UP government’s land. DDA sources said severe land constraints in other directions of the flyover forced them to prepare a design that has three cloverleaves in one direction.

In fact, the project was originally planned to be a flyover with four cloverleaves when it was conceived in 1996-97.

However, the DDA technical committee allowed just one cloverleaf (for Nizamuddin-Noida traffic) when it approved the project in 1998.

Later, the design of the cloverleaf was tampered with to give undue advantage to a petrol pump on NH24.

It was only after the Supreme Court intervened that the petrol pump was shut down and DDA agreed to modify the cloverleaf to ensure better flow of traffic.

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