NHAI misses 4th deadline to finish underpass near Sirhaul toll in Gurugram
Despite Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari announcing that the underpass at Sirhaul toll plaza near Ambience Mall will be opened on October 15, the project has missed the deadline yet again.
Authorities said this is the fourth deadline the project has missed. The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) had fixed the initial deadlines in September, 2020, July, 2021 and August 15, 2021 for the project. Work on the underpass began on March 5, 2019; however, due to the restrictions in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2019 and the construction ban imposed by the Supreme Court during winter to curb pollution, the project was delayed repeatedly, authorities said.
According to officials, some work is still pending and there is a safety audit going on. Now, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) plans to open this underpass at the end of this month, said officials.
HT’s visit to the underpass on Friday revealed that while the surface road is almost complete, the electrical infrastructure is still being fixed.
Gurugram residents have been demanding the construction of the Sirhaul underpass for a long time, as it will help them avoid driving all the way to Rajokri in Delhi to take a U-turn to get to Ambience Mall and DLF Phase-3.
NHAI officials claimed that work on the entire project is almost complete and they are conducting a safety audit, which has delayed the opening of the underpass. “The safety audit is to ensure that the project meets all safety standards and there is no hazard to commuters. The independent auditor will take four days and the authority will also take the same time to finalise the audit. The work is almost complete and the underpass will be opened by the end of the month,” said Saurabh Singhal, NHAI consultant.
Last month, union transport minister Nitin Gadkari, while visiting the Mumbai Delhi Expressway, had announced that the underpass will be opened on October 15.
NHAI officials said that work was also delayed due to the non-availability of labour during the lockdown period and the festive season. “There are only minor works pending and these will be completed within a week,” a senior official said.
The length of the U-turn underpass is 377 metres, while the entire stretch, including access roads, is 1.5km-long — it includes a 559 metre-long and 7 metre-wide service road. The designated speed in this underpass has been set at 40kmph.
The width of the underpass is 14 metres and the vertical clearance of the tunnel is 5.5 metres.
The 455 metre-long flyover at Shankar Chowk, which is functional, was also built as a part of this project.