Saturday, March 6, 2010

Govt wants agencies to hand over roads soon

Finally, Delhi-ites can expect some respite from dug up roads. Seeing the condition of arterial roads in the city, a majority of which are dug up due to construction of Delhi Metro, flyovers, subways or streetscaping work ahead of the Commonwealth Games, Delhi government held a review meeting with all the agencies concerned asking them to clear out stretches on schedule.

To start with, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) and Public Works Department (PWD) were reportedly asked to hand-over roads to the road-owning agencies so that streetscaping and beautification of the stretches can commence. "DMRC has given an undertaking that all the roads under their jurisdiction will be handed back to the road-owning agencies by April 13 for streetscaping. Other projects like flyovers, etc will also follow the same schedule,'' said chief secretary Rakesh Mehta.

At present, several roads are dug up for construction of new medians, pavements and street furniture leading to traffic jams. This had become a major cause for concern for the government as it was felt that the roads will not get cleared out in time. "All streetscaping activity will also be completed by June,'' Mehta added. The government had called a review meeting of Commonwealth Games projects on Thursday in which representatives from Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), PWD, DMRC, Delhi traffic police and the city government.

DMRC officials said that the corporation had initially taken over about 40 km of roads for construction activity, of which about 30 km has already been handed back. "We are ready to give another 3-4 km this month and the rest by April. The construction of all the lines is nearing completion,'' said a DMRC spokesperson. The roads to clear out soon include the main roads in Nehru Place and Naraina, Humayun Road, Aurobindo Marg and Rohtak Road.

Concern was expressed about the progress of other projects related to the Games. The agencies revealed that almost all are on schedule. "There were some projects which are running a little behind the schedule. But work will now be expedited and these projects will now be completed well in time for the Games,'' said an official. Some stretches like Metro's Badarpur line, PWD's Naraina flyover, NDMC's CP restoration are a bit delayed, but work on these are being taken up on a warfooting now.

It was decided that no new projects will be started now, unless they can be completed before October. For this, MCD has been asked to submit a road wise plan to the traffic police, which will be reviewed. Traffic circulation will be studied at Naraina where new bus stops are coming up and ITO bridge where repairs are about to start.

The Union urban development ministry reviewed the projects 10 days back.

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