San Martin underpass is half done, will miss sixth deadline
The three-lane underpass, near Venkteshwara College, being constructed by the Public Works Department (PWD), has been delayed due to shifting utilities, and the complex construction work.Updated: May 21, 2019 06:44 IST
Four years and five deadlines later, the underpass connecting Benito Juarez Road with San Martin Road in south Delhi is only half complete. The project, part of the Rao Tula Ram Marg redevelopment project will miss its June 2019 deadline.
The three-lane underpass, near Venkteshwara College, being constructed by the Public Works Department (PWD), has been delayed due to shifting utilities, and the complex construction work.
“It will take another eight to nine months to complete. The delay is due to shifting railway’s power cables, telephone lines and other utilities. The work related to shifting of utilities on BJ Road and SM Road has been completed, while the utilities at Ring Road are yet to be shifted,” a senior PWD official said on condition of anonymity.
The dual access one-way underpass will begin near Springdales School on Benito Juarez Road and will pass under the South Campus Metro Station on the Ring Road. One arm of the underpass will go to San Martin Road while another will open on Ring Road towards Moti Bagh.
PWD officials estimate that the facility will reduce travel time from the airport to central Delhi and All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) by 20 minutes and 15 minutes, respectively. At present, commuters have to spend over an hour to reach central Delhi from airport.
PWD officials said that it took around two years to shift 220 KV power cables of the Railways that fell in the middle of a 300-metre stretch of the proposed underpass on San Martin Road.
The official said that it was these power cables were shifted only a few months ago. Spokesperson of the Railways could not be reached for comment despite repeated calls and text messages.
“Digging beneath Ring Road will be the most complex as it would require diversion of traffic. It is one of the busiest arterial roads so we will have to carry out work in a way that commuters do not face much problem. We are hoping to start work on this portion towards the year end,” said another Public Works Department official, familiar with the developments.
The underpass is a part of redevelopment of Rao Tula Ram (RTR) Marg stretch, which also comprises the construction of a 2.7-km-long flyover, parallel to the RTR flyover.
The flyover is likely to be opened by June end.
Estimated to cost ₹102 crore, constant delays have escalated the expenditure by ₹42 crore. S Velmurugan, senior principal scientist, traffic engineering and safety division, Central Road Research Institute (CRRI), said, “Most of the important projects such as construction of flyover parallel to RTR flyover on the Outer Ring Road and phase-3 of Barapullah elevated corridor are running years behind their deadlines. Such important projects should be completed on time and the responsibilities of the authorities should be fixed,” he said.