Unhappy with the slow pace of the redevelopment work in Connaught Place, Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit has constituted a high level monitoring committee to work out measures to expedite the project.
To be headed by chief secretary Praveen Kumar Tripathi, the committee will look into the reasons behind the delay in several works that are part of the redevelopment project and will suggest a solution to complete the work in time.
Principal secretary of Delhi government’s urban development department, managing director of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, CMD of Engineers India Limited (the agency constructing the utility tunnel) and chairman and secretary of New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) will be members of the monitoring committee.
Sources said that the redevelopment project, which was originally a Commonwealth Games project and was supposed to be completed before the games, had missed several deadlines.
“Connaught Place has been dug up for a long time and not many people including the traders in the area are happy about it. It seems the NDMC officials are losing grip on the work. The chief minister now wants this project to be constantly monitored by a senior officer in her government and want it to be completed at the earliest,” a senior Delhi government official said.
The redevelopment project includes restoration and improvement of façade of the buildings in all blocks of Connaught Place, construction of a utility tunnel along the middle circle, construction of eight new pedestrian subways along the outer circle and improvement of the existing subways, creation of green zones along the inner circle, beautification and streets and construction of a parking lot in the outer circle.
The NDMC had earlier given March 2012 as the new deadline to complete the project, then pushed it to June 2012 and now they have promised the government to complete it by December 2012. The entire project is likely to cost R650 crore.
“There have been several issues related to errant behaviour of contractors. Some of the contractors have also left the work midway leaving us in the lurch,” a senior NDMC official said requesting anonymity.