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Infrastructure projects hit COVID bump

Work in progress for improvement of Mahabir Chowk in Old Gurugram.   | Photo Credit: Manoj Kumar

Hit adversely by the COVID-19 outbreak last year, projects for improvement of various junctions in the Millennium City, including Atul Kataria Chowk and HUDA City Centre Chowk, widening of a section of the Gurugram-Alwar Highway (NH-248A) and Patadui Road, have been delayed for several months now.

Scheduled to be finished in 2020, the projects of Atul Katariya Chowk and HUDA City Centre Chowk, involving the construction of a flyover and an underpass each, have now been delayed primarily on account of the restrictions on construction activities and non-availability of labour due to the pandemic since March last year.

Initially, scheduled to be completed by December 4, 2019, refurbishment project of Atul Katariya Chowk junction, a project announced by the Chief Minister Manohar Lal, was expected to be completed by 2020-end.

Shifting of utilities

The delay was mostly caused due to shifting of utilities. However, a Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) meeting in December last year to review various projects found that only 27% work had been completed and extended the completion date for the project till February 2021.

The tender for the project was allotted on May 5, 2018, at a cost of ₹47.70 crore and involves construction of 715 metre-long flyover along Old Delhi Road and 620 metre-long underpass along the Mata Road, besides a service road.

Similarly, the project for the improvement of the HUDA City Centre Chowk involves construction of 270-metre-long flyover and 735-metre-long underpass passing from Signature Road to Subhash Chowk. More than 80% work for the flyover has been completed, but the progress of civil works achieved is only 41%.

The completion date of work has now been extended up to March 2021. The work for the project was allotted on February 25, 2019, at a cost of ₹52.52 crore and the scheduled date of completion was April 15, 2020.

Running far behind the schedule, the project for the improvement of junction at Mahabir Chowk and Aggarsen Chowk near city bus stand was awarded on February 15, 2019, and as per the contract, the work was scheduled to be completed by December 14, 2020, at a cost of ₹25.92 crore.

However, the project has achieved progress of only 12% and is slated to be delayed. The work is being undertaken by the Public Works Department (Buildings and Roads) with funds being provided by the GMDA.

Past deadline

Slated to be completed by May 11, 2020, as per the contract, the project for six-laning of road from Umang Bhardwaj Chowk to Dwark Expressway has seen an overall progress of 36% and the completion date has now been extended till March this year.

It involves 820 metre-long flyover at Basai Chowk and 910 metre-long railway over bridge (ROB) on the Delhi-Rewari railway line. The permission for construction of the ROB has been received and the most of the issues related to shifting of utilities and land litigations has been addressed.

Running ahead of schedule, the four-lane underground U-turn near Ambience Mall, a National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) project, was likely to be completed by May 31 last year. But the project has now been delayed past its September 2020 deadline, as per the contract, due to the COVID-induced lockdown and scarcity of funds.

The NHAI was to bear half of the cost for the ₹102.94-crore project, and the rest was to be equally shared by the DLF and the Ambience Mall owners. But the DLF and the Ambience Mall owners delayed the payments. “The DLF has now paid its share and the project is likely to be completed by March this year,” said a senior NHAI official.

Travel time

The motorists coming from Jaipur and going towards Ambience Mall and DLF Cyber Hub are now forced to travel all the way to Rajokri flyover in Delhi to take a U-turn. After completion, the 377 metre-long underground U-turn will not just reduce the travel time, but also help reduce traffic congestion under the Rajokri flyover during the rush hours.

For the six-laning and strengthening of 22-km-long stretch of National Highway-248A, locally known as “Sohna Road”, starting from Rajiv Chowk, the NHAI has awarded two separate tenders. The first package of the project involves six laning and strengthening of the road from 0.340 km to 9.282 km starting from Rajiv Chowk and 4.752 km-long elevated road. The stipulated date for the completion of this package, as per the contract, is July 31, 2021. The second package, with the stipulated completion date of July 29, 2021, covers the remaining distance.

Three-lane service road will also be constructed on both sides of the road.

“Both the packages of the project are under progress. The first package, with 32% progress, is likely to be completed by June next year. However, the second package has finished around 70% works and we hope to wrap it up by this year end,” said the NHAI official, not willing to be named.

Besides the pandemic, the first package of the project was also delayed due to collapse of a section of an elevated corridor in August last year.

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Printable version | Mar 1, 2021 3:41:58 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/infrastructure-projects-hit-covid-bump/article33539852.ece

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