Following rejection by an experts committee of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) last month, the Public Works Department has revised its link road project to connect National Highway 24 with the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
Under the revised plan, it proposes to install pre-fabricated boxes at ‘chicken neck’ areas in the vicinity of monuments like Lakkarwala Tomb and Sundarwala Burj. The PWD had earlier claimed the road would be at a distance of more than 100m (102m and 101m respectively).
But joint surveys by the PWD and ASI had revealed the two monuments are just 91m away and, therefore, fall within the no-construction zone of the ASI.
Independent experts invited by the ASI, including well-known architects Gautam Bhatia and Mohammad Shaheer, rejected the road plan in a meeting on November 24.
They had said the entire area comprising Humayun Tomb complex, Sundar Nursery, its surroundings, Lodhi Road, Lodhi Garden and Safdarjung Tomb form the cultural and heritage core of the city.
When contacted, Director-General of ASI, C. Babu Rajiv said the proposal could not be accepted in the last meeting as no one from the PWD was present and the experts gave their opinion based on available information. He said that ASI has sought detailed drawings and information that are yet to be provided.
The 2.24-km NH 24-Lodhi Road corridor project worth Rs 568 crore would be the shortest direct route between the Games Village and the National Stadium, having four-lane road, PWD officials say.
“The tunnel road, a first in the country, would ease traffic flow from East to South and Southwest Delhi, reducing travel time from NH-24 to Lodhi Road from 25 minutes to eight minutes,” claimed the official.