Delhi government on Tuesday announced that the Signature Bridge, whose completion has lagged for around five years now, is likely to be ready for public use by October. Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, who witnessed the installation of the final pylon on the 154-metre-high bridge with deputy CM Manish Sisodia on Tuesday, announced that the government will release the last tranche of funds required to finish the project.
“People are eagerly waiting for this much delayed project. The engineers working on the project have informed us that it would be completed by October,” Kejriwal said. “The government will provide the final instalment of funds next month.”
The government is likely to revise the project outlay to Rs 1,511 crore after the Central Public Works Department, from which the PWD had sought expert opinion on the cost escalation, justified the spending of this amount. The Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation, which is executing the construction of the bridge, had demanded Rs 1,574 crore.
The disbursal of the remaining sum of Rs 167 crore is likely to be discussed at the Expenditure and Finance Committee meeting soon and then sent to the state cabinet for approval. With the release of the funds, the construction of the bridge is expected to pick up pace. Delhi government has till yet released Rs 1,344 crore for the cable-stayed bridge that was initially projected to cost Rs 887 crore.
The bridge over the Yamuna linking north Delhi with northeast Delhi and Ghaziabad will be 675 metres in length and 35.2 metres in width. The central pylon, which towers 154 metres above the ground, has already been constructed. With almost 95% complete, the work on the bridge came to a halt after the contractors ceased work due to non-payment of dues. The Wazirabad Bridge, which is in a bad shape, is currently the main link between the two regions of the city. This two-lane bridge has been unable to bear the increasing traffic load and there are massive traffic jams throughout the day.
The Signature Bridge aims to improve traffic movement on Ring Road. Residents in the nearby areas have suffered commuting woes due to the long delay. The project was conceptualised in 2004 and got the nod of the Delhi cabinet in 2007. The first deadline was fixed ahead of the 2010 Commonwealth Games. This was subsequently revised to 2013, only to be followed by numerous postponements of the completion date.