New Delhi: Delhi finance minister and deputy CM Manish Sisodia approved Rs 100 crore for the Signature Bridge project, which is delayed by four years, on Monday to ensure it is completed within the new deadline.
Tourism minister Rajendra Gautam said that the cost of the project will not be revised. He also directed Delhi Tourism and Transport Development Corporation (DTTDC) to fix responsibility for cost escalation and the delay in the project.
“PWD has released the money to DTTDC. December 2017 has been set as the deadline for the project,” said Gautam. Sources in the government said that while the money has been released, the tourism department and PWD have been asked to take the Cabinet’s approval at the earliest. “It (approval from the Cabinet) is just a formality,” said a government official.
The cost of the project increased from Rs 1,100 crore to Rs 1,575 crore and became a major cause of concern for PWD, which had commissioned the project. PWD has released Rs 1,244 crore (excluding Rs 100 crore) so far.
The construction work had been moving at a snail’s pace since January this year due to inadequate funds. In April, the contractor had stopped operations for a brief period due to non-payment of dues. “This money was promised to us in April. Work has suffered in the past few months. We will have to remobilise machinery and labour…it will take some time. Not much work can be done in the monsoon because of flooding,” said a senior DTTDC official.
The project will give a quick link between Khajoori Khas and its neighbouring areas in east Delhi, and Outer Ring Road leading to NH-1 in north Delhi. The existing Wazirabad bridge can’t take the traffic load and it takes anywhere between 45 minutes and an hour to cross it. Once the signature bridge starts functioning, it will take less than 15 minutes to reach Outer Ring Road from east Delhi.
DTTDC officials are hopeful that the remaining Rs 231 crore for the project will be released soon.
Source: Times Of India