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MCD election: Why these 7 projects may hurt BJP’s chances in Delhi

Municipal election in Delhi will be held on April 22. The BJP is in power in all three municipal corporations. Projects such as Rani Jhansi grade separator, Shahdara lake and Balak Ram Hospital have been delayed by several years.

MCD Elections 2017 Updated: Mar 27, 2017 10:52 IST
Vibha Sharma
Vibha Sharma
New Delhi, Hindustan Times
MCD polls,Delhi municipal election,Municipal election date
The cost of Rani Jhansi grade separator in north Delhi has escalated from Rs 177 crore to Rs 724 crore due to delays.(Sonu Mehta/HT Photo)

The municipal election in Delhi is scheduled to take place on April 22, with the BJP likely to highlight the big-ticket projects executed by the three civic bodies in the last five years.

However, what the campaigners for the ruling party will probably shy away from mentioning in their rallies and speeches will be a host of projects that the civic body failed to complete, despite the BJP being in power in all three civic bodies for two terms.

HT looks at seven projects have been on the backburner for several years and the way forward
North Delhi Municipal Corporation
  • The 1.6 km flyover will connect Filmistan Cinema to St Stephen Hospital.
  • Started in 2008.
  • Stuck due to delay in acquiring land and shifting utilities.
  • 65% of work completed
East Delhi Municipal Corporation
  • Lake was to provide recreational facility for residents.
  • Project was started in 2012
  • Delayed due to severe paucity of funds
North Delhi Municipal Corporation
  • Was to be upgraded to 200-bed facility.
  • Project was started in 2002
  • Delayed due to change in plan and delay in policy making
East Delhi Municipal Corporation
  • Was supposed to be the landmark of east Delhi
  • Conceived in 2012
  • Delayed due to lack of consensus between MCD and DDA
South Delhi Municipal Corporation
  • Provide space for 300 cars
  • Project started in 2017, 80% completed
  • Delayed due to lack of funds
East Delhi Municipal Corporation
  • Multi specialty hospital services
  • Started in 2007
  • Delayed due to an acute shortage of funds
North Delhi Municipal Corporation
  • The space was to provide car parking facility for 600 and 500 vehicles
  • The project has been hanging in balance since 2008
  • The main reason for delay as per officials is no response to its tenders
  • The North Delhi Municipal Corporation intends to sell out both the plots on which the parking space was to be built

Sources said that from incomplete flyovers to under-construction hospitals, the list of half or unfinished projects under the three municipalities in the last five years were ’significant’. While some projects were stopped by legal controversies, others couldn’t be completed due to the ongoing tussle between the civic bodies and the Delhi government as well as an acute shortage of funds.

The Rani Jhansi Flyover grade separator project, for instance, ran into legal troubles soon after being initiated in 2008. The project, which was supposed to ease traffic congestion in the area, has become the major source of snarls between Barafkhana to Filimistan Cinema.

“Commuting has become a nightmare here. The road has been barricaded and there is construction debris lying all around near the Pul Bangash Metro station, leaving precious little space for movement of vehicles,” said Ramesh Gupta, a local shopkeeper. The project cost too has jumped from an initial estimate of Rs 177 crore to Rs 724 crore. Parvesh Wahi, the standing committee chairman of north corporation said: “The project was not as simple as it looked. After fighting a lot of court cases and acquiring land, work is now been moving at a fast pace.”

The plan to revive Shahdra lake is also on the backburner.

The project, which was started in 2012, hit a dead end after the Trans Yamuna Area Development Board under the Delhi government was dissolved. The only progress the project made is the setting up of a sewage treatment plant to revive the lake.

“The lake area has dried up and the area now is used for open defecation by slum dwellers. We have given up hope to see any beautification at this place,” Pradeep Kaushik said.

An ambitious plan to upgrade the non-functional Balak Ram Hospital in Timarpur to a 200-bed facility also is likely to miss another deadline for its completion by the end of this year.

An HT team on Sunday found that only the building had been constructed (not even plastered) with none of the required equipment being moved in yet. Construction material lay strewn in the hospital campus, entry to which was restricted.

The construction of a three-storey car parking lot at a polyclinic in south Delhi’s Jangpura too has become an unending affair. The project, which started in 2008, is incomplete but inaugurated in a rush two-days ago by the local councilor.

“The parking site is yet to get finishing looks and receive a completion certificate. I got to know about the project being incomplete after I inaugurated it,” said Darshana (who goes by just her first name) , local councillor.

First Published: Mar 20, 2017 00:16 IST