Tunnel project to unclog congested Ashram crossing in Delhi awaits financial nod
The tunnel will allow signal-free travel from Nizamuddin to New Friends Colony on Mathura road. It will be built below the Ashram Chowk intersection between Nizamuddin railway station over bridge and CSIR apartmentdelhi Updated: Dec 26, 2017 16:46 IST
Commuters will not get any relief from the perennial jam at the Ashram traffic junction any time soon as the project to construct a tunnel below the Ashram intersection is caught in a bureaucratic hurdle.
The tunnel, which will allow signal-free travel from Nizamuddin to New Friends Colony or Jamia University on Mathura road, will be built by the Public Works Department (PWD).
The department, however, has not been able to start construction work because it is waiting for financial approval from the central as well as the Delhi government.
The project was conceptualised in 2016 end and its financial approval is awaited for nearly a year, a PWD official told Hindustan Times.
Under the project, the PWD will build a 750-metre tunnel below the Ashram Chowk intersection between Nizamuddin railway over bridge and CSIR apartment on Mathura road.
Once the project is completed, it would benefit commuters passing through the busy Ashram crossing which records approximately 4.29 lakh vehicles every day.
The estimated cost of the tunnel is around Rs 87 crore and 80% of the funds will come from the Centre while 20% will be borne by the Delhi government.
According to sources, other than exchange of files between the PWD, and the central and the Delhi government, there is little progress on the project. “The construction work of the tunnel could not start as estimate approval is yet to be granted for the project. There had been no visible progress in the last one year,” the official said.
The official added that once the financial approval is given, the tendering process will begin and the project will be completed within 12 to 15 months.
Officials said that preliminary estimates of the expenditure were sent to the Centre as well as the Delhi government for approval but the files “came back with certain observations”. “The estimates were sent again after corrections but they were returned with more comments. In October this year, we sent the estimate proposal after fulfilling all the necessary details to the Centre for approval. Now we are waiting for the approval,” another PWD official said.
In March this year, the department had sent revised estimates to the Delhi government but again the observations were raised, the official added. “We received the observations in November this year. We have again sent the revised estimates to the Delhi government this month (December) and are now waiting for the approval,” he said.
Delhi government’s principal secretary (finance) SN Sahai told Hindustan Times: “I am not in town so cannot tell much about this. The government is serious about development projects so it is not right to say that it is being stopped deliberately. They (PWD) must not be putting the (estimate) proposal in a correct and detailed manner.”
Ashram intersection has been a traffic bottleneck for over past two years because of the Metro construction work, and repairs of flyover and road.