Underpass at Ashram intersection gets Delhi government’s financial approval
The expenditure finance committee (EFC) of the Delhi government on Thursday gave approval for the construction of an underpass along Mathura Road at Ashram intersection — one of the busiest traffic crossings in the city.
If all goes well, the construction of the underpass will be completed in one and a half years, the public works department (PWD) officials, associated with the project, said. In October, Hindustan Times had reported that the project had been awaiting financial approval for two years.
Ashram intersection connects Mathura Road, NH-2 and the Ring Road (linking Lajpat Nagar-Sarai Kale Khan and DND Flyover). During peak hours, massive jams are common on Mathura Road and Ashram flyover.
Traffic police data shows that around 3,00,000 vehicles cross the Ashram intersection every day. Vehicular traffic in the area shot up after the DND Flyway was made toll-free in 2016 and with the widening of NH-24 in June this year. South Delhi-bound traffic from east Delhi and Noida uses this stretch. Once the project is completed, it would benefit commuters taking the busy Ashram crossing.
Under the plan, PWD will construct a 750-metre-long underpass at Ashram crossing, between Nizamuddin railway overbridge and CSIR apartment, on Mathura road.
Government officials said the EFC meeting was headed by finance minister Manish Sisodia. PWD minister Satyendar Jain, along with other senior officials of the finance, planning and PWD, was also present at the meeting.
“The EFC on Thursday approved the construction of an underpass at Ashram intersection at an estimated cost of Rs 77.92 crore,” a government official said.
According to PWD officials, after getting the financial approval, it would take at least one and a half years to construct the underpass.
“After EFC’s approval, the proposal will be sent to the cabinet and then the tendering process would begin. It will take around six months for planning and around a year or more for construction,” a senior PWD official said.
The Unified Traffic and Transportation Infrastructure (Planning and Engineering) Centre (UTTIPEC) — the apex body for approving infrastructure projects in the city — had approved the underpass in January 2016 and it was to be completed by March 2018. The project was delayed for want of financial approval.
Initially, 80% cost of the project was to be funded by the central government while 20% was to be borne by the Delhi government. But according to Delhi government officials, in June 2018, it was decided that the project will be fully funded by the state government.
Other projects cleared by the EFC
Apart from the Ashram underpass, the government on Thursday cleared two more road infrastructure projects — the construction of a bridge on Najafgarh drain at Basaidarapur in west Delhi at an estimate of Rs 48.60 crore and streetscaping of the stretch from Britania chowk to Outer Ring Road in Pitampura at an estimated cost of Rs 38.82 crore.
The EFC also approved the construction of a mother and child hospital on the premises of Lal Bahadur Shashtri Hospital at a cost of Rs 143.73 crore at Khichiripur in east Delhi and the construction of an integrated election complex at a cost of the Rs 48.8 crore at Bakhtawarpur in outer Delhi.