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Delhi’s first ‘mega skywalk’ to open next month

The skywalk will connect roads at the W-point with the Pragati Maidan Metro station in ITO

delhi Updated: Aug 13, 2018 11:56 IST
Ashish Mishra
Ashish Mishra
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Skywalk,ITO,Traffic congestion
ITO is one of the most congested areas in Delhi, and the skywalk hopes to remedy that. (Sushil Kumar/ HT Photo)

The construction of Delhi’s first “mega skywalk” at the Income Tax Office (ITO) in central Delhi, aimed at decongesting one of the city’s busiest traffic junctions, is set to be completed by the end of this month and likely to be opened to the public in September, Public Works Department (PWD) officials said on Sunday.

Once completed, the skywalk will benefit at least 30,000 pedestrians who cross the road at ITO every day. The skywalk will facilitate the smooth movement of pedestrians, connecting Sikandara Road, Tilak Marg, Mathura Road and Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg at the W-point of the ITO crossing from the Pragati Maidan Metro station. It will help reduce safety risks.

With around 25 major office complexes, two Delhi Metro stations, seven major arterial roads and the Tilak Bridge Railway Station, ITO is one of the busiest stretches in the city.

Skywalks — usually longer and wider than a foot over-bridge (FOB) — have space for food kiosks, canopies and areas for pedestrians to sit. It connects more than one road and is generally used at major junctions.

ITO skywalk almost ready
PWD officials said they plan to open the skywalk to the public this September. Once operational, it will be of benefit to at least 30,000 pedestrians per day.

A senior PWD official said although rain delayed the construction of the skywalk, the project has now been fast-tracked. “Around 75% of the work has been completed. The rest is likely to be wrapped up by August-end. Painting of the skywalk structure has also begun and it will be completed in a week. We are planning to open it for the public in September,” said the official, who asked not to be named.

The construction of the 615-metre skywalk started in November last year and was scheduled to be completed in March . The deadline was subsequently shifted to May and then June. Officials said the delay had occurred due to complexities involved in the construction as the project site is at one of the busiest traffic intersections. The estimated cost of the project is ₹54.34 crore, officials said.

“There are a number of underground utilities (wires and pipelines) in the area. Shifting these was not possible so we had to work underneath them. It turned out to be more difficult than we had thought it would be. Besides, we couldn’t completely stop traffic at ITO as it one of the important crossings, so the pace at which the work took place was slow,” another official said.

The skywalk will start from the Pragati Maidan Metro Station and will have four arms. The first will exit at the Mathura Road bus stand; another will go under the Metro line and descend near the entry of the Tilak Bridge Railway Station near Lady Irwin College. The third wing will have two exits — one near the Bal Gangadhar Tilak statue on Tilak Marg and the other near the Institute of Archaeology building on Sikandra Road. The fourth will be a ramp that will descend near the Hanuman Temple on Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg. Under the project, an FOB will also be constructed on Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg near Hans Bhawan.

“Placing the deck for the Hanuman Mandir ramp will start on Sunday night. Columns for the lift of the FOB have been erected at Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg near Hans Bhawan,” the first official said.

First Published: Aug 13, 2018 02:50 IST