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Thursday, Nov 14, 2019

Six deadlines later, second RTR flyover opens in Delhi

With the inauguration of the second RTR flyover, commuters from south Delhi areas, such as Greater Kailash, Munirka, Hauz Khas and Noida, will finally be able to ditch the already clogged Outer Ring Road and RTR crossing to reach the airport.

delhi Updated: Jul 17, 2019 05:07 IST
Ashish Mishra
Ashish Mishra
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
The construction of the flyover had begun in November 2014 and was to be completed within 2 years by 2016. It missed six deadlines before being inaugurated on Tuesday.
The construction of the flyover had begun in November 2014 and was to be completed within 2 years by 2016. It missed six deadlines before being inaugurated on Tuesday. (Vipin Kumar/HT Photo)
         

The much-delayed 2.7km-long, three-lane flyover — parallel to the existing Rao Tula Ram (RTR) flyway — was inaugurated by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday after a delay of almost three years. The flyover project missed six deadlines before being inaugurated on Tuesday.

With the inauguration of the second RTR flyover, commuters from south Delhi areas, such as Greater Kailash, Munirka, Hauz Khas and Noida, will finally be able to ditch the already clogged Outer Ring Road and RTR crossing to reach the airport.

According to Public Works Department (PWD) officials, the facility is expected to reduce around 20% of the existing traffic load on Outer Ring Road.

“This 3km long flyover will prove to be a crucial link between the south Delhi and airport as well as Gurgaon (Gurugram). People often say that a lot of flyovers came up during (former chief minister) Sheila Dikshit’s tenure. During her tenure, around 70 flyovers had come up, mostly before the Commonwealth Games. We have got 23 flyovers constructed in the last four-and-a-half years. I am not mentioning this because cause of a sense of competition. I just want to dispel the myths that our goverment hasn’t done much in the area of infrastructure,” Kejriwal said while addressing a gathering after inaugurating the flyover.

He also referred to the development work in unauthorized colonies and said that in the tenure of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government not only flyovers were being built but roads and drains were also being constructed and sewage lines were laid in many unauthorised colonies to reach out to the ordinary people.

“We believe in performing and delivering what we have promised. But we don’t believe in advertising much. Now, it is for the people to spread word about the work we have done in the last four-and-a-half years,” Kejriwal said.

Contradicting Kejriwal’s claims, former Delhi chief minister Dikshit on Tuesday said that the new RTR flyover was conceived during the tenure of the Congress government.

“It is not just the RTR flyover and the Signature Bridge but there are several other infrastructure projects, which we began but the AAP got the opportunity to finish and inaugurate. Kejriwal will not give us credit for those works, but that is fine because our government believed in working for the people and they believe in taking credit,” Dikshit said.

Without naming anyone, Kejriwal also mentioned the ruckus created during the inauguration ceremony of the Signature Bridge in November last year and said after the inauguration of that project, a member of the Opposition party had sought to take credit of that project.

“We are not good politicians though, I admit. We got the Signature Bridge constructed, but one Opposition party leader came and hurled bottles and later tried to take credit for the construction of the bridge. We believe in doing our work and not indulging in dirty politics,” Kejriwal said.

After the event, Kejriwal told reporters that a few more such projects would come up soon.

The construction of the flyover had begun November in 2014 and was to be completed in two year’s by November 2016. This deadline was later pushed back to September 2017, then to March 2018. It was later shifted to June, then to December and later to March 2019. The latest deadline was June 2019. The work on the flyover was finally completed in June 2019.

The constant delays increased the cost of the project, which also includes construction of an underpass on Benito-Juarez Road, from the initial estimate of Rs 278 crore to around Rs 364 crore. The estimated cost of the entire project includes flyover, underpass and utility shifting. The stand-alone cost of the flyover is Rs 205 crore.

PWD officials say the delays were triggered by late permission for cutting of trees, shifting of utilities and residents’ opposition.