In 20 months from now, when the Commonwealth Games begin, a Ring Road bypass is expected to reduce travel time between the Games Village and other sporting venues spread across the Capital. However, construction of the 5.5 km road project is yet to start.
The Ring Road bypass is just one of the much-delayed road infrastructure projects that would ensure that athletes and visitors can smoothly reach the sporting venues, situated in different corners of the city.
According to a recent report submitted to the Delhi government by the engineering wing of Public Works Department (PWD), the agency constructing most infrastructure projects in the Capital, physical progress on most Games-related projects is poor.
The Barapullah drain elevated road project is just seven per cent complete. The elevated road promises to reduce travel time between the Games Village and the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, one of the main sporting venues, from 45 minutes to 12-15 minutes.
PWD engineers insist planning of most projects was done well in time and they attribute any delay to a multiplicity of agencies and their delayed approvals.
“Delhi Urban Arts Commission had in principle approved our design for the Ring Road bypass project in December 2007. Later, it raised certain objections and we had to carry out the drill again. Despite the fact that we were losing crucial time, the DUAC did not give us permission and we had to approach the Lieutenant Governor to start construction,” said a senior PWD engineer on condition of anonymity.
“Many issues have delayed the projects related to the Commonwealth Games. Even though PWD wants to expedite the projects, it cannot do so unless there is a unified transport authority or an appellate body where all the concerned agencies come together,” said PK Sarkar of School of Planning and Architecture.
“Decisions have to be taken at a single platform instead of moving around from agency to agency. Only then can all hurdles be cleared,” he said.