Work On A 100m Stretch On San Martin Marg Remains Stuck As High-Tension Wires Not ShiftedParas.Singh@timesgroup.com
: The much-delayed project to build an underpass linking Benito Juarez Marg and Ring Road near Venkateswara College will be costlier by Rs 41.36 crore than the initial estimate of Rs 102.42 crore. That’s an over 40% jump.
The underpass is part of the overall RTR project to decongest the Outer Ring Road between IIT and NH-8, which is set to ease movement of traffic coming from IGI Airport. Now, the whole project, which also includes a flyover linking Munirka flyover to Army R&R Hospital, would be costlier by Rs 51.2 crore.
PWD argues that the cost has been revised as a lot of underground utilities had to be shifted and there was an enhancement in the security deposit for compensatory plantation. Senior officials said the process was complicated as the utilities belonged to multiple agencies like MTNL, DJB, NDMC, BSES, etc. TOI had earlier reported how the construction that had begun in November 2015 had got stuck for a year and a half due to BSES and Northern Railway both refusing to take the responsibility for shifting nine high-tension wires.
“Work on a 100m stretch on San Martin Marg remains stuck after 2.5 years due to this. Finally, Railways said they were the owners, and we paid them the money needed to shift. But even now the wires have not been shifted,” said a senior PWD official. The original cost for this was Rs 14 crore, which has now been revised to Rs 63.55 crore.
The RTR flyover, too, would see a cost escalation of Rs 9.84 crore. Another officer claimed this was due to relocation of 319 trees. “Since the last project costs were approved by the cabinet in 2013, the forest department has increased the cost of shifting and cutting trees from Rs 28,500 to Rs 57,000 per tree,” he said.
The forest department said the costs were revised in 2016, and it was ordered to grow 10 trees for one cut down and maintain them for seven years.
Now, five years after the RTR project was cleared in October 2013, only 35% of it has been completed.
Meanwhile, traffic police have also said that they would allow the digging of a tunnel on Ring Road only after the flyover work is over. The project monitored by Delhi high court would get costlier with further delay.
The expenditure finance committee has already approved the revised cost from Rs 313.67 crore to Rs 364.87 crore with the condition that no escalation in cost would be considered henceforth.
The matter will now go to the cabinet.