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Kalindi Kunj bypass: 18 years on, not a brick laid at proposed 13.7km road

The Public Works Department, which is overseeing the Kalindi Kunj bypass project, said it was to begin work two years after conception of the project in 2000, but could not because of flawed alignment of the proposed road.

delhi Updated: Jun 16, 2018 11:36 IST
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Kalindi Kunj bypass,Public Works Department,Delhi Metro
Proposed land for Kalindi Kunj bypass near Ashram Chowk in New Delhi.(HT File Photo)

The construction of two projects — the Delhi Metro and a bypass road at Kalindi Kunj to connect Delhi, Noida and Faridabad — were announced at around the same time. It was the year 2000.

Since then, the Delhi Metro has built a 277km network across the National Capital Region, and two major road projects have been completed around Kalindi Kunj. But not a brick has been laid at the proposed 13.7km road — even as traffic has multiplied in parts of south Delhi that serve as a thoroughfare for traffic which should have bypassed it years ago.

The Public Works Department (PWD), which is overseeing the project, said it was to begin work two years after the conception of the project, but could not because of the flawed alignment of the proposed road. Initially, the bypass road was to cross from near the Okhla Bird Sanctuary, but this would have disturbed the ecology of the green belt. The portion that was supposed to have crossed from near the sanctuary was realigned as an elevated corridor, going above the Agra canal.

In 2003, the department started work by digging and taking measurements, but whatever little digging was started, stopped in 2007. “Four years, were wasted in digging and measuring the road. Midway, the alignment had to be changed because of the bird sanctuary,” said a PWD official who asked not to be named.

By then, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) had inaugurated its first 22.06-km line between Rithala and Shahdara . Two years later, in 2004, the Metro also opened the10.84-km yellow line, connecting Vishwavidyalaya and Central Secretariat. And in 2015, the Metro entered Faridabad, extending its violet line. And in December last year, the Kalkaji Mandir-Botanical Garden line passing through the Agra Canal was built, adjacent to where the bypass road was to be constructed.

Meanwhile, in 2007, the Uttar Pradesh government raised objections and did not clear a 43-acre patch of land needed for the road.

18 years of no progress
The Kalindi Kunj bypass road was conceived to resolve traffic woes on Mathura Road
Areas that will benefit
Kalindi Kunj, Sarita Vihar, Jasola, Ashram, Maharani Bagh, New Friends Colony, Jamia Nagar, Okhla
Benefits for commuters from DND to Faridabad?
Now: Commuters have to go from Maharani Bagh, Ashram, Sarita Vihar via Mathura Road
After bypass: People can take the bypassand reach Badarpur flyover with no stoppage
Current travel time: Over 1 hour
Expected time to be saved: 30 minutes
Changes in cost estimates
Initial estimate in 2002: ₹64 cr
in 2014: ₹200 cr
in 2015: ₹1,200 cr
in 2017: ₹1,584 cr
  • 2000: Project is conceived
  • 2003: Work on project started
  • 2005: Objections raised by UP govt
  • 2007: Work stopped
  • 2010: New alignment worked out
  • 2014: Clearance from UTTIPEC
  • 2017: Meetings for project revival with UP govt; in-principle approval from UP govt

A senior PWD official privy to the developments of the Kalindi bypass project said it had been stuck at various levels since its announcement. At present, the PWD has managed to obtain in-principle approval from the UP Irrigation Department for the 43-acre land, but is awaiting a nod from their state government to start construction.

“The project was conceived by the Delhi government in 2000 but it could not be executed due to the issue of transfer of land. Chief secretary-level talks are on and work on project is likely to start soon,” the official said.

Urban infrastructure expert Pradeep Ramachandran said most of the vehicles that cross the Ashram intersection merely use it as a transit route. “If these vehicles get an alternative bypass, then the traffic volume in the intersection will reduce considerably,” he said.

First Published: Jun 16, 2018 07:24 IST