The deadline for digging roads, which was to stop with the Commonwealth Games, is getting extended with each passing day. While some stretches are being dug up to lay cables, at many other places the work is being done all over again because it was done in a shoddy manner earlier to meet the Games deadline.
The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) that had built these footpaths had made tall claims that because a green "buffer zone" was created on the footpaths, digging the entire pathway will not be required to lay cables.
However, at Kasturba Gandhi Marg, despite there being a buffer zone, the entire footpath has been dug up for a 220KV cable line. NDMC officials claimed KG Marg was only repaired by them and was not newly built.
The civic agency claimed that digging is being done only on those footpaths that had been repaired by them. "KG Marg is one stretch where we had only carried out repair work. It is being dug up to lay a cable line and will be restored after the work is done," said an official.
It's always work in progress
A newly laid footpath on Mother Teresa Crescent has been uprooted to accommodate a disabled friendly ramp.
Near Prime Minister's residence at Race Course Road, a traffic island has been dug up again. Work is also being carried out at Sardar Patel Marg that was "beautified" by the civic agency before the Games.
Even on Wednesday, the work was in full swing. "These pathways were built during the Games, but now we have been asked to lay them again, and replace them with granite stones because these stones were not available earlier," said Vivek Kumar, a worker at Mother Teresa Crescent.
Clearing up the backlog
The NDMC claimed it was not able to complete many of the stretches in the New Delhi area even to meet the Games deadline. The civic agency is now trying to finish the leftover work.
"There was tremendous pressure on us to complete the work before the Games, so we tried to complete as much work as we could, but now we are giving finishing touches on many of these stretches," said a senior NDMC official. "Also, many of the stretches were partially left out, such as Vinay Marg, so we are working on that too."
The NDMC members also agreed that a lot of work that was not completed before the Games has now been taken up. "Work near Rail Bhawan was left incomplete so they are finishing it now. At many other places, too, work was done in patches so now we are completing them," said Mukesh Bhatt, an NDMC member.