NEW DELHI

East Delhi is on the move

NEW DELHI, AUG 14. If not the entire Delhi, at least East Delhi is on the move. After being the first to get the Metro Rail project, the trans-Yamuna area is going full speed ahead with development plans aimed at decongesting roads and providing relief to the huge population. Flyovers, bridges, new roads, extended Metro Rail, mega-malls and cultural centres, East Delhi certainly tops the agenda of the Delhi Government.

Housing one-third of Delhi's population, the trans-Yamuna area is certainly the most happening place in the Capital right now. Interestingly, East Delhi has three Ministers in the Sheila Dikshit Cabinet and the Member of Parliament from East Delhi, Sandeep Dikshit, is the Chief Minister, Sheila Dikshit's, son giving priority to everything that happens there. The latest is the extension of the Metro Rail from Shahdara to New Ashok Nagar and touching areas around Mayur Vihar in the second phase of the project beginning next year. The Chief Minister's son is keen on changing the face of the area by turning it into a happening place. For this, he is already reportedly working on the concept of having mega malls to attract the hep crowd to this part of the Capital.

On the other hand, in an attempt to decongest the busy Vikas Marg stretch, the Delhi Government has begun work on construction of a 30-metre road over the existing disused canal so as to connect marginal bund Pustha Road with Karkari More at Vikas Marg. This 3 km road, part of the Master Plan, would deflect traffic from Vikas Marg and land it directly at Karkardoma once completed. The Government has already sanctioned Rs. 87 crore for this project that is likely to be completed in 30 months, according to the Finance Minister, A.K. Walia. Already the ITO Chungi is being connected with Noida More flyover and the project is expected to be completed by this year-end. It is also proposed to construct an underpass at the ITO Chungi in order to deal with the heavy traffic that converges on this point and chokes Vikas Marg.

Similarly, the Government being well aware about the flow of traffic on the existing bridges over the river Yamuna has decided to construct another bridge over Yamuna near Geeta Colony. Dr. Walia said in order to ease out traffic congestion on the other bridges over the Yamuna, this bridge would be linked with Shantivan on Ring Road. The Government has already sanctioned Rs. 118 crores for this project and the process for inviting tenders is already on. It is expected that work would start on this project by next month and it would be completed within three years time. Similarly, the long pending demand for construction of a new bridge at Wazirabad has also got the nod. This area faces huge traffic congestion through out the day and till late hours in the night. The Government has decided to construct a parallel bridge at Wazirabad and has sanctioned Rs.1.15 crore to Delhi Tourism and Transportation Corporation for preparing the detailed project report and appointment of a project management consultant for construction of the bridge. Apart from this, plans have also been drawn up for construction of a socio-cultural centre at Shahdara. This centre would be on the lines of the one that has come up at Laxmi Nagar and has become a big hit in the area. The Government intends to establish this project on Build Operate and Transfer basis in order to ensure involvement of the private sector in the execution and maintenance of such an important project.

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