The Connaught Place project may well be on its way to missing its June completion deadline also with work at many places being far from complete. Adding to the woes are three under-construction subway entries — one at KG Marg and two on Janpath — that lie deserted as death pits for commuters making their way to this office and shopping destination, deemed as the fourth expensive in the world.
The subway entrance on KG Marg has a 10-ft odd drop, one that has the potential of catching a pedestrian unawares. “Earlier there were work-in-progress boards put up by the New Delhi Municipal Council. For a few days, these are missing and this place has become quite dangerous. No untoward incident has happened till now but it could happen anytime,” Pawan Kumar Jha, a security guard at a nearby building, said.
Atul Bhargava, president of New Delhi Trader’s Association, said though work on the subways remained incomplete at a few places, majority of the work has been done with only the cleaning up activity remaining. “Water pipelines have been laid. The electricity pipeline will have to be laid and this will take two months as over 90,000 metres of cable work is to be done. We expect a clearer picture in the next 10 days,” Bhargava said.
Hindustan Times took a stroll of the inner circle and spotted loads of debris and construction material scattered around the pavements and roads. “This is basic housekeeping operation. Other than these, the project is nearly on the verge of completion,” Bhargava said.
According to Bhargava, Connaught Place has come a long way in these years of revamp. “The inner circle parking spots have improved. The pavements have been redone. Outside the pillar, granite and sandstone corridors have been constructed anew and ceiling lights have been installed. The windows are all new and the roofs waterproofed. New pipelines have been installed in the rain water drains. The facade has been replastered,” he said.
The major task still remaining, however, is the 22ft service duct. Service lines, such as those of telephone and electricity, will go underground in this duct, which will help in doing away with the ugly meshes of wires overhead.
Earlier in February, the project consultant Engineers India Limited (EIL) had approached the NDMC with a plan to make a steel box service duct across the Outer Circle at four locations.