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New flyover on Delhi’s RTR Marg to miss deadline again, private firm faces penalty

The project began in 2014 with a budget of Rs 278 crore, but only 30% of the work has been completed till this November because of delays triggered by reasons such as funds constraint and residents’ opposition.

delhi Updated: Nov 29, 2017 09:53 IST
The 900-metre Rao Tula Ram Marg flyover that connects south Delhi with the airport is a traffic nightmare. (HT FILE)

A much-delayed 2.7km parallel bridge to decongest the Rao Tula Ram Marg flyover in south Delhi is unlikely to meet its June 2018 deadline as the public works department (PWD) said it will need time till next August to complete the project.

The project began in 2014 with a budget of Rs 278 crore, but only 30% of the work has been completed till this November because of delays triggered by reasons such as funds constraint and residents’ opposition.

“The progress of the project is slow. It will be delayed by at least two months because of financial problems of the agency that has got the contract for the work,” a PWD official said on Monday.

The official said a penalty had been imposed on the private company for delaying the project. It could be blacklisted in case of further delay.

Until the project is ready, the 900-metre Rao Tula Ram Marg flyover that connects south Delhi with the airport will continue to remain a traffic nightmare.

This flyover, which opened for the public in October 2009, bears the load of vehicles to and from the airport.

The new three-lane flyover will start from the Munirka petrol pump and land before national highway 8, close to the army hospital at Subroto Park.

The flyover and the road below will be used for airport-bound traffic from the city. The older bridge will be restricted for commuters from the airport.

Work has been tardy and delays rampant in this project, scheduled initially to be completed in 24 months since construction began in November 2014.

The PWD missed two deadlines — November 2016 and September 2017 — as it couldn’t get permission from other departments to cut trees and shift utilities such as power, water and sewerage lines.

The hindrances were cleared this August and a revised deadline of March 2018 was set. The target was re-revised to June 2018 because of tardy work.

The latest delay means traffic restrictions for building the bridge along stretches covering Rao Tula Ram Marg and Palam Marg will be imposed from next January for airport-bound traffic.

The curbs were supposed to be imposed this October for six months as the PWD was planning to place the girders for the flyover.

“Because of the slow progress of work, the process of launching the girders is yet to begin. We have not yet reached the stage where we need to shut airport-bound traffic on the RTR flyover,” a PWD official said.

In January, vehicular movement towards the airport between Munirka and the army hospital could be restricted in three phases.

The first restriction will be between Munirka and Paschimi Marg and the second will from Paschimi Marg to Rao Tula Ram Marg. And in the third phase, traffic will be closed between army hospital and Rao Tula Ram Marg.

First Published: Nov 28, 2017 23:33 IST