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Signature Bridge debris partly cleared, new allegations emerge

On April 17, the Hindustan Times had reported how debris from the city’s new iconic structure has almost blocked the river’s flow. Only a gap of around 10 metres was left for the river waters to flow through.

delhi Updated: May 01, 2019 04:56 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
signature bridge,yamuna,ngt
On Monday, when HT revisited the spot it was found that much of the debris had already been removed. A new and much broader channel has been opened through which the river now flows. (Amal KS/HT PHOTO)

A former contractual engineer, who was associated with the construction of the Signature bridge, has sent an email to the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) alleging that the debris had been indeed dumped into the river when the bridge was being constructed and that it did block the river’s flow.

On April 24, based on a Hindustan Times report, a two-member committee appointed by the National Green Tribunal had asked the DPCC to visit the spot and submit a report, on whether debris was dumped into the Yamuna. The DTTDC and PWD were also asked to submit their responses.

Meanwhile, the NGT committee intervened, the Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation Ltd, has removed much of the debris that obstructing the river’s flow below the Signature bridge.

“The agency constructing the bridge is removing the temporary structures, which it erected by putting mulba /demolished reinforced cement concrete (RCC) in the river waters for making way, thus blocking the waters,” reads the email, which Vijay Sahajpal, sent to the DPCC. The Hindustan Times has a copy of this email.

Sahajpal was associated with the project for more than two years and his contract ended on March 31, 2019.

Senior officials of the Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation Ltd (DTTDC), the agency responsible for constructing the bridge, however, refuted the allegations.

“The debris was being removed even before such allegations surfaced and would be completely removed before the onset of monsoon. It (our work) has nothing to do with allegations from any outsider and third source,” said Shishir Bansal, chief project manager of the Wazirabad Bridge Project, which was later renamed as Signature Bridge.

Sahajpal also alleged that some of the temporary structures have not been removed entirely and some portions of the structure are still submerged in the river. He said that this could prove to be dangerous if water sports and ferry services are introduced in the river.

“We are already in the process of removing the structures. Most of them have been removed. The remaining submerged portions would be also removed in the next 10-15 days,” said NK Sarin, executive engineer of the Signature Bridge project.

On April 17, the Hindustan Times had reported how debris from the city’s new iconic structure has almost blocked the river’s flow. Only a gap of around 10 metres was left for the river waters to flow through.

The DTTDC had earlier said that no new or fresh debris was dumped into the river from outside. It was the debris of the temporary structures, which were built during the construction phase and are now being demolished, that is being removed.

The chairman of the DPCC could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.

On Monday, when HT revisited the spot it was found that much of the debris had already been removed. A new and much broader channel has been opened through which the river now flows. The development comes after almost a week after a two-member committee appointed by the National Green Tribunal had asked the DPCC to visit the spot and submit a report. The DTTDC and PWD were also asked to submit their responses.

First Published: May 01, 2019 04:56 IST