Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI: The Delhi Government has now veered round to the idea of bifurcating the Signature Bridge project over the Yamuna at Wazirabad into two tenders so that the increase in its cost is not very steep. The project had been scrapped last month after the cost had shot up from an estimated Rs.464 crore to over Rs. 900 crore.

Since Finance Minister A.K. Walia, Tourism Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely and Transport Minister Haroon Yusuf had objected to the project being completed on the old tender – as that would have invited criticism from all quarters – the Government had decided to seek fresh tender.

Subsequently, upon deliberations among Dr. Walia, Mr. Lovely and Urban Development Minister Raj Kumar Chauhan, it was decided that while one tender would be issued for the main bridge, another tender would be floated for the road projects that would lead to the main structure.

The new bridge is proposed downstream of the existing bridge-cum-barrage at Wazirabad and will connect National Highway-1 (Road No.50) on the western bank of the Yamuna and Wazirabad Road (Road No.59) on the eastern bank. A unique piece of architecture, it will have a nearly 175-metre high bow-shaped pylon with cable stays on one side and back stays on the other side. The total length of the proposed bridge, along with the approach spans, would be about 575 metres.

According to sources, the process of preparation of the tenders is under way and they would be floated soon. While due to the re-tendering the project has been delayed by about six months, efforts would be made to ensure its completion before the Commonwealth Games in 2010.