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

Chhavi Bahmba 

[email protected]


The University of Delhi’s (DU) administration, principals and teachers have shown support towards the idea of having an ‘integrated North Campus’  ahead of the high-rise construction which is taking place and threatens to change the landscape of the area permanently.

In light of the recent developments with regards to the proposed construction of a high-rise building adjacent to the Vishwavidyalaya Metro Station in the North Campus of the University of Delhi, the administration is planning to integrate the University campus and transform it into a closed campus, with no free access to the public for the same.

Speaking at the 96th convocation of the University last month, Vice-Chancellor Yogesh Tyagi gave a fresh impetus to what has been a long-standing idea, saying he hoped the area will be turned into an “integrated campus with no thoroughfare” within one year.

Bipin Tiwari, a member of the task force set up by the University’s Campus Development Committee, said that a closed campus could mean the setting up of entry and exit gates at certain key roads such as Chhatra Marg, Cavalry Road, University Enclave and the GTB Road. Through this, the University hopes to restrict the movement of vehicles, not belonging to the staff or students, which currently pass through the area freely. It would also mean setting up alternative routes to divert the traffic.

The task force has written to the Public Works Department (PWD) asking it to carry out a traffic survey of the area and determine what routes may be possible. According to sources, two main hurdles being faced in lieu of this plan include – firstly, a traffic survey of the area and secondly, the much disputed construction of a 39-storey building in the campus.

The North Campus area, flanked by the Najafgarh drain on one side, the Kamla Nehru ridge on the other, the Ring Road in the north and Kamla Nagar in the south, is primarily dotted with university buildings, including various colleges, hostels, sports complexes and administrative blocks. And if the university authorities have their way, the campus will be closed off to the public, quotes The Hindu.

“We are demanding free movement, not a bigger cage to live in, which is what a closed campus will be,” the representative said, adding that the university would use the pretext of a closed campus to clear out street vendors, rickshaws, tea stalls and other small traders.

A representative of the Kamla Nagar Market Association said that while it would be too early to comment on any such proposal, the other stakeholders, including the residents in the area, would have to be taken into confidence for any such move.

Abhinandan Kaul, a first year student of St. Stephen’s College, favours the move of the administration in this regard, and says, “Making North Campus a closed campus would benefit the students by putting their security on priority. The closed campus would also ensure that the traffic is better managed and commute becomes easy for both staff and students. At the same time, I feel that the campus should only be made into a closed campus by increasing its reach, taking the example of other closed campuses such as that of IIT Delhi.”

Another first year student from Daulat Ram College, said on the condition of anonymity, “…a closed campus would benefit the students of DU immensely. They can avail the free environment of a public campus without compromising their security concerns. Even hostel curfews and strict deadlines would be extended if the campus is converted into a closed campus.”

Most principals and teachers of the DU colleges, though, support the idea of an ‘integrated North Campus’ as the under-construction high-rise threatens to change the landscape of the area permanently.

However, the campus and administration await the orders of the Supreme Court (SC) on the matter of the high-rise before any steps can be taken in the direction of having a closed campus.


Feature Image Credits: Akarsh Mathur for DU Beat

Bhavya Pandey

[email protected]