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Signature Bridge almost ready, beautification plan not

delhi Updated: Oct 13, 2016 23:34 IST
Parvez Sultan
Parvez Sultan
Hindustan Times
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The Signature Bridge will connect Outer Ring Road (National Highway 1) on the western side and Marginal Bund Road at Khajuri Khas intersection on the eastern side. (Sonu Mehta/ HT file photo)

The construction of the much-delayed Signature Bridge over Yamuna River on Wazirabad is on the verge of completion. The state government, however, is still to come up with a concrete plan to develop its surroundings.

When the project was first conceptulised in 2004, it was decided that the space close to the bridge would also be developed as a picnic destination. As per a proposal, the Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation (DTTDC) was to initiate revamp on areas surrounding the bridge in second phase, soon after the completion of the bridge construction.

However, the concerned agencies are yet to finalise a plan in this regard. A senior Delhi government official said the issue was flagged recently with the concerned officials and they were supposed to take the matter up.

“The construction of the bridge is in its final phase and may be completed by April. There is, however, no plan to spruce up the areas surrounding the bridge. Moreover, there is no clarity which agency will be entrusted with the responsibility,” he said.

The previous Sheila Dikshit government had planned recreational facilities such as water sports, boating, open-air theatre, food plazas with promenades and winding walkways at Yamuna bank to attract a larger number of tourists. The area is also to be rejuvenated as a habitat for avian and aquatic life.

Read more: Signature Bridge across the Yamuna to be ready by next year

The project has missed several deadlines. When the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government came to power, Delhi tourism minister Kapil Mishra had announced that he would review the project weekly.

The officials said the involvement of multiple agencies was proving to be a major hurdle that has led to confusion. “Inland Waterways Authority of India and Ganga River Basin Authority are engaged in Yamuna cleaning. The Centre has also roped in a Netherlands-based agency for the same. A part of land belongs to Delhi Development Agency and irrigation and flood control department. Multiplicity of authorities has resulted in confusion. It has not been decided yet whether the surroundings will be developed by a government agency or the project will be ousourced to a concessionaire,” he added.

According to sources, a Mumbai-based consultant had prepared an initial plan with dedicated space for idol immersion or worship, walkways, or recreational activities for the project. But the idea was sketchy. “They were raw concepts. No deliberation was held. So, no decision was taken on that,” a source said.

The Signature Bridge will connect Outer Ring Road (National Highway 1) on the western side and Marginal Bund Road at Khajuri Khas intersection on the eastern side. It will serve as a vital link for commuters travelling between north Delhi and northeastern part of the city and Ghaziabad.

According to sources, a Mumbai based consultant prepared an initial plan with dedicated space for idol immersion or worship, walkways, or recreational activities but all was sketchy. “They were raw concepts. No deliberation was held. So, no decision was taken on that,” a source said.

The bridge will connect Outer Ring Road (National Highway 1) on the western side and Marginal Bund Road at Khajori Khas intersection on the eastern side. It will serve as vital link for commuters travelling between North Delhi and North-eastern part of the city along side neighbouring Ghaziabad.