Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit instructed officials on Monday to first complete the work in Connaught Place rather than fix deadlines. Noting the slow progress of the ‘CP Redevelopment Project’, she said: “Work should have ideally been completed three years ago. I have convened five review meetings regarding this and the Chief Secretary has made regular trips to the spot.” But work has been stalled due to administrative problems, she said.
A review meeting was held on Monday which was attended by New Delhi Municipal Council Chairperson Archna Arora and Delhi Chief Secretary D. M. Spolia. “I have asked the Chief Secretary and the New Delhi Municipal Council Chairperson to look at the ground reality. I do not think the deadline of April 30 will be met,” she said.
Sources said a follow up meeting on the issue is likely to be held on Tuesday with all the stakeholders including the contractor, Engineers India Limited and the New Delhi Traders’ Association. The traders had opposed the subways planned on Outer Circle near Panchkuian Road claiming these would get poor footfalls and would mainly be used by anti-social elements.
Responding to queries on the review meeting, NDMC Chairperson Ms. Arora said: “This was a normal review meeting. We have been asked to expedite the work.” Earlier in January, while presenting the 2013-14 Budget of the Council, Ms. Arora had said the work has missed the December 31, 2012 deadline but efforts will be made to complete work within four to five months. The four major components identified by the Chairperson were the façade, surface, utility tunnel and subways.
The NDMC had said the façade restoration work had been completed in 10 of the 12 blocks. Similarly, the surface re-development work in the Inner Circle had been completed; cement concrete road has been laid in the Middle Circle; and alignment of footpath on both sides were over. The Council said all the seven radial roads in Connaught Place have been opened to traffic and the final layer of bitumen concrete has been laid.
It is learnt that during the day, Ms. Dikshit also met Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath to discuss a range of issues including the status of regularisation of unauthorised colonies. On April 5, the layout plan for East Azad Nagar was approved by the East Delhi Municipal Corporation and it thus became the first unauthorised colony to have achieved this target.