Friday, May 21, 2010

Barapullah Nullah Road to be completed before Games: Kalmadi

Even as doubts are being raised over the timely completion of 4-km elevated road over Barapullah Nullah, Commonwealth Games organizing committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi on Thursday said that the signal-free stretch will be ready well before the sporting extravaganza.

Though it will be the last elevated road project to be completed before the Games, Public Works Department (PWD) officials said that the corridor may be ready by July end or mid-August against its present deadline of June.

The 4-km elevated road over the huge drain has been taken up to provide non-stop connectivity between Commonwealth Games Village and Jawaharlal Nehru stadium, one of the main venues. Nearly 10,000 sportspersons will use this stretch during the Games.

‘‘The project is progressing well and it’s 84% complete. The missing segments across Ring Road near Kale Khan have been installed. The segments across the second crossing over the Lala Lajpat Rai Marg will also be installed by this month end,’’ said a senior PWD official.

He added that segments over two major stretches railway tracks near Nizamuddin station and Mathura Road would also be fixed by June and July. ‘‘Fixing the segments over the railway tracks is a critical task. This has to be done under the supervision of railway engineers and the train movement has to be stopped during the process. The Railways have demanded Rs 110 crore as fee for unscheduled stoppage of trains on operational railway tracks whereas we have offered Rs 56 crore. The issue remains unresolved,’’ another department official.

Sources said that the permission from railways to construct the elevated stretch over its tracks came only last September. ‘‘A project of this nature ideally takes three years for completion, but we are constructing it only in 18 months. At an interval of every 600-700 meters, we have to fix segments over major roads.

We are not executing the project in haste to avoid any risk,’’ the official said. The original deadline for this project is June 2010 but chief minister Sheila Dikshit had asked PWD officials to complete it by March. The present cost of the six-lane project is close to Rs 600 crore. The elevated road takes off from Ring Road near Sarai Kale Khan and terminates at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.