Thursday, February 19, 2009

Badarpur corridor meets police roadblock

Badarpur corridor meets police roadblockWith less than two years left for holding the 2010 Commonwealth Games, the Badarpur-Faridabad corridor, which was meant to provide a faster link for visitors to reach Agra, is now stuck in limbo. The reason: Badarpur Police Station has come on its way.

The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) requires land for making a clover leaf of the six-lane elevated corridor for signal free movement at the T-junction where Mehrauli Badarpur road meets Mathura Road. To build the leaf, which will be similar to one at the AIIMS and Dhaula Kuan, the police station building needs to be relocated. This realisation has, however, sunk in late with the civic agencies.

Pushing the panic button, the NHAI officials have clearly told the Delhi government that if the approval is not given within 15 to 30 days then the project will miss its deadline and won’t be ready for before the Commonwealth Games.

The government is now frantically trying to find an alternate plot to house the police station. Delhi Police has identified a land which is a little away from the existing police station and also falls on Mathura Road. “The problem is that that the suggested plot is not a Gram Sabha land. It falls in unauthorised colony which has been ear-marked for regularisation and the acquisition is problematic,” said a senior official of Delhi government. The police have said that they will shift out if an alternate land is given and is also mulling over renting out some premises to accommodate the station.

From the existing 2.5 acre premises, the police station has been operating since 1978. The Detailed Project Report of the Badarpur-Faridabad corridor was completed in 2004 and NHAI had clearly mentioned relocation of the police station in the report. This was followed by several step-by-step procedures (see dateline) and Delhi Police was informed about relocation of its station on November 12, 2008.

However, no decision on this issue was taken. “There are several issues which are bogging down the project, including shifting of the police station. I have constituted a committee of all the concerned officials and have asked them to file a report within two weeks,” said Chief Secretary Rakesh Mehta. The cabinet secretariat has told the government to sort out the issue immediately.