A 2-km stretch with four missed deadlines: How the Railways is delaying Barapullah flyover
Phase 2 of the Barapullah elevated corridor promises non-stop connectivity between Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium and INA market. Phase 1 of the corridor connects Sarai Kale Khan and JLN Stadium.Updated: Jun 08, 2018 09:24 IST
Just 270 metres. That’s what delaying Phase 2 of the Barapullah elevated corridor that has missed four deadlines since 2015. Phase 2 promises non-stop connectivity between Jawaharlal Nehru (JLN) Stadium and INA market. Phase 1 of the corridor connects Sarai Kale Khan and JLN Stadium.
The delay of the 2-km section has come as double whammy for residents of Sewa Nagar, Pilanji, Amrit Nagar, Kotla Mubarakpur, Kasturba Nagar and even South Extension who are already inconvenienced by the development of the East Kidwai Nagar township nearby.
For the past five years, locals have been seeing cranes and bulldozers in action in front of their houses and dealing with noise and dust. The entire project hangs in limbo because of the unfinished 270-metre stretch, which is in the Northern Railway’s court.
It has to construct a section of the corridor over the Sewa Nagar Railway Crossing. That part of land belongs to the railways. Phase II was first scheduled to open in 2015. But it missed the deadline as there was a delay in getting permission from the railway for construction on its land.
It was rescheduled to open in September 2017 but was delayed again.
The deadline was pushed to March 2018 from December 2017. Having missed the latest deadline, the public works department (PWD), in charge of the construction, now says it would finish all work by the end of this month.
“PWD’s work is complete. We are waiting for Northern Railway to complete its part over the Sewa Nagar railway crossing to open the bridge. It has to construct the crushing barriers and fix the expansion joints on its portion of the flyover. Most of the work is done,” said P Parmar, chief project manager, PWD.
Parmar said trial runs will be conducted before it is thrown open to the public.
A Northern Railway official said work on its portion is in progress and would be completed by end of this month. “Work on the bridge is almost at the completion stage. All girders have been launched. The plan includes putting in place seven spans. Works like expansion of joints and putting up anti-accidental fencing are left. Our portion will be commissioned between June 25 and 30,” said RN Singh, divisional railway manager, Delhi division, Northern Railway.
Locals inhabitants, however, seem to be getting impatient with the constant construction and traffic diversions.
“Day in and day out, we have to bear with the noise of heavy machinery. A project cannot go on for years, just because two agencies cannot coordinate well enough,” said Mangat Ram, a resident.
“There are massive traffic snarls as motorists reach INA or Aurobindo Marg via Lodhi Colony after descending from Barapullah Phase I near JLN Stadium. There should be penalties for delayed works,” said Rajni Devi, a resident of Kotla Mubarakpur.
The redevelopment of East Kidwai Nagar, which started in December 2014, has engulfed the region in dust -- adding to the woes. The construction work being carried out at multiple sites have affected traders as well.
“Ever since we shifted to the newly built East Kidwai Nagar Centre Market, business is down by half. Nobody comes here as the approach road is full of construction debris. Both — this township and Phase II of Barapullah road — started around the same time and are still underway, which is only worsening the air quality,” said Gurpreet Singh, a shop owner.
Wazir Chand, pointing at the Kushak drain, where the flyover is being built, said, “Look at the contrast.This drain stinks and is such an ugly sight with garbage and sewage strewn all around. On top of it is this flyover.”
Traffic officials say once the stretch is completed, it would significantly reduce traffic on several roads. “Traffic on Lala Lajpat Rai Marg, the South Extension-AIIMS stretch and Aurobindo Marg will become lighter,” Garima Bhatnagar, joint commissioner of police (Traffic), said.
Barapullah phase II will be an extension to the operational four-kilometre phase I. Phase I has been operational since the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Phase III of the project is also currently underway. It will be a three-and-a-half-kilometre stretch from Mayur Vihar Phase I to Sarai Kale Khan and is expected to be completed by 2020.
PWD officials said the entire road will cut travel time between Mayur Vihar Phase I and INA from 60 to 45 minutes.