Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Dug up city: Clear the mess by June, civic bodies told

With dug up roads and pavements becoming a common sight in the capital and causing problems for residents, the Union Urban Development (UD) Ministry has rapped civic agencies for the tardiness.

The UD Ministry has expressed concern over civic bodies carrying out rampant road-digging work, just seven months ahead of the the Commonwealth Games (to be held in October), and directed the agencies to speed up all ongoing digging and construction activity.

At a recent meeting, held to review the progress of various infrastructure projects related to Commonwealth Games, UD secretary M. Ramachandran attributed the problem to multiple agencies taking up street-scaping projects simultaneously.

This, Ramachandran said, has resulted in major disruption of traffic and inconvenienced the general people, especially pedestrians.

“The UD secretary has asked the Delhi government to ensure various digging work taken up by different agencies be staggered in a phased manner to reduce inconvenience,” said a Delhi government official who attended the meeting.

“There is a general view that the entire Capital has been dug up. Not only has it inconvenienced the public but there is a gnawing fear that many of the ongoing work might not be completed on time.”

The three civic agencies carrying out pavement improvement projects and streetscaping — MCD, NDMC and PWD — have been asked to complete the work by June 2010.

“Only once the civil work is completed, respective agencies will be able to do landscaping of vacant spaces by planting trees. So, it’s important that the respective agencies adhere to their deadline,” said a ministry official.

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) is carrying out street scaping/road improvement on 14 roads enroute the different Games venues at a total cost of Rs 74 crore.

The New Delhi Municipal Council on its part is carrying out streetscaping work on all major roads in three phases at a cost of Rs 60 crore.

While just 46 per cent of work on Phase I has been completed, 35 per cent and 14 per cent work has been completed in Phase II and Phase III.

The Public Works Department is carrying out major road projects in about 400 kilometres at a cost of Rs 250 crore.

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