Four years and five deadlines later, the underpass connecting Benito Juarez Road with San Martin Road in front of Sri Venkateswara College is only half complete. The project, which is a part of the Rao Tula Ram Marg Redevelopment Project recently missed its 6th deadline of completion in June 2019 causing much trouble to roads of South Campus.
When one visits Sri Venkateswara College or Satya Niketan, a sight to behold is the unfinished construction site which is surrounded by gutter streams all around. That is the three-lane underpass, being constructed by the Public Works Department (PWD), which has been delayed for more than 5 deadlines. It has been said to be delayed due to lack of utilities, shift slot issues and the complex nature of project.
A senior PWD official on condition of anonymity said, “It will take another eight to nine months to complete. The delay is due to shifting railway’s power cables, telephone lines and other utilities. The work related to shifting of utilities on BJ Road and SM Road has been completed, while the utilities at Ring Road are yet to be shifted.”
The construction has been a menace for long, it acts as an incubator for health hazards as well as take away from the beauty of the place.
The dual access one-way underpass construction begins near Springdales School on Benito Juarez Road and is said to pass under the South Campus Metro Station on the Ring Road. One arm of the underpass is said to go to San Martin Road while another will open on Ring Road towards Moti Bagh.
Being near one of the most prominent metro station for DU south campus students, The Durgabai Deshmukh South Campus metro station, the sore construction site is something which all people are witnesses to.
The delay in the construction has left the entire place stinking and has even hampered the travel on the roads. Due to the construction in process, the roads have been long broken and aren’t even close to getting repaired. It causes a huge traffic problem, as already the streets of Satya Niketan are very narrow with the construction they have been reduced much more on its main entrance which doesn’t allow cars to enter.
Each season there’s a new trouble. In the rainy season, there is collection stagnant water which leads to the breeding and provides a mating ground for many flies, mosquitoes and insects causing diseases. In winds of winters, the dust accumulated there causes dust winds that harms the health of the students.
Tarsh Verma, student of Sri Venkateswara college said, “Its so hazardous to be around this construction because of the broken roads, the enormous amount of mosquitoes and huge water puddles. It has also divided the road from the center making it very inconvenient.”
What’s worse is that this construction will be extended to the Ring Road which is one of the busiest roads in Delhi. The delayed construction will lead to deferred traffic and will be highly inconvenient. Other than traffic, hygiene and convenience issue the construction is also harmful financially.
The underpass was estimated to cost INR 102 crores. Constant delays have escalated the expenditure and have added an extra amount of INR 42 crores to the project.
S. Velmurugan, senior principal scientist, traffic engineering and safety division, Central Road Research Institute (CRRI), said, “Most of the important projects such as construction of flyover parallel to RTR flyover on the Outer Ring Road and phase-3 of Barapullah elevated corridor are running years behind their deadlines. Such important projects should be completed on time and the responsibilities of the authorities should be fixed.”
The proximity of the construction with the colleges and the metro station should motivate the authorities to complete it as soon as possible.
Feature Image Credits: Aakarsh Gupta for DU Beat
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