Ashram underpass gets revised June deadline
- In the outcome budget, which was also presented on Monday, the government said that 40% of the work on the underpass was completed until December last year.
The Public Works Department (PWD) is expected to complete work on the 750-metre underpass connecting Nizamuddin Railway Bridge and CSIR Apartments at the Ashram intersection, one of the busiest stretches in the city, by June this year, missing another deadline of April, according to the economic survey report tabled by the Delhi government in Delhi assembly on Monday.
In the outcome budget, which was also presented on Monday, the government said that 40% of the work on the underpass was completed until December last year.
Senior PWD officials confirmed the extension of the deadline and said the new date factored in the time required for the final inauguration of the underpass. “The work might be completed 10-15 days earlier, but we have taken into account the date of inauguration after the construction work is completed,” a senior PWD official confirmed on Monday.
The economic survey report also said that the extension of the Ashram flyover, for which the PWD has started placing barricades around the Ring Road, is also expected to be completed by March 2022.
Ashram intersection, where around 350,000 lakh vehicles cross during peak traffic hours, is among the busiest and the most congested stretches in the capital. The stretch witnesses massive traffic snarls even during non-rush hours because of portions of Mathura Road being dug up by the construction agency.
“The estimated cost of this project (underpass) is ₹77.92 crore along with shifting of services. The construction work is in progress and 40% work has been completed till December 2020. An expenditure of R 23.74 crores has been incurred till December. The work is likely to be completed by June 2021,” the economic survey report read.
Professor Sewa Ram of the School of Planning and Architecture (SPA), said while work on many major construction projects was affected because of the Covid-19 lockdown and subsequently the non-availability of labour, the agencies could have made a dedicated plan to speed up work on the Ashram underpass, considering it gets such high volume of traffic.
“The initial deadline was December 2020, after which the deadline was shifted again to April this year. Now that the agency has shifted the deadline again to June, they must ensure that resources deployed on site are increased and the road is opened for commuters earlier. Such delays not only result in increased costs but also result in hassle for commuters, which we can see on the stretch,” he said.
The survey also said that nearly 56% of work on the construction of two single-carriageway underpasses, between Wazirabad and Jagatpur, and a pedestrian subway near Gandhi Vihar on the Outer Ring Road, was completed during the time the preparation of the document. Work for five foot-over bridges was also completed fully and more than 90% work has been completed for four more FOBs till December last year, the Outcome Budget read.
In its last outcome budget, the Delhi government’s status report showed that of all the projects that were factored for assessing the performance of PWD, 40% were off track.