With the Connaught Place re-development project much behind schedule, New Delhi Municipal Council chairperson Archna Arora on Monday said her priority was to ensure completion of work in four to five months.
Ms. Arora, who presented the 2013-14 Budget of the Council, said the work missed the December 31, 2012, deadline but the effort would be to complete it in four to five months. “There are four major components to the project: the façade, surface, utility tunnel and subways,’’ she said, adding that many of the works have been completed.
The NDMC said the façade restoration work has been completed in 10 of the 12 blocks. Similarly, the surface re-development work in the Inner Circle has been completed; cement concrete road has been laid in the Middle Circle; and alignment of footpath on both sides has been over. The Council said all the seven radial roads in Connaught Place have been opened for traffic and the final layer of bitumen concrete is being laid.
It said the five existing subways have been improved and upgraded and are in public use. Escalators have been provided in Super Bazar and K.G. Marg subways while its installation in Janpath subway will be completed by March. The construction of subways with escalators at Statesman House-N Block and Gopal Dass Building-M Block junctions are in progress.
As for the service corridor or the utility duct in the Middle Circle, an official said the civil work has been completed and work on services like electricity, telecommunication, fire, water supply and irrigation was at an advanced stage and will be completed by March.
Ms. Arora denied that the project cost had escalated too much. “Initially it was to cost around Rs.674 crore but later the scope was changed and four subways were taken out, and a district cooling project and a parking project were scrapped. So the cost came down to around Rs.400 crore and so far only about Rs. 296 crore has been spent on it.’’
The Chairperson said NDMC was not happy with the contractor, Engineers India Limited, over certain issues. “We are in discussion with them,” she added.
On why Connaught Place has not been provided with a closed circuit television system despite it being included in the NDMC budget following the 2008 serial blasts, Ms. Arora said it would be executed by EIL. “They are discussing the project with the Delhi Police.’’