Saturday, June 5, 2010

Barapullah road not to be ready before Aug 15

Chief minister Sheila Dikshit on Thursday inspected the Barapullah elevated road project, which has again missed the deadline. She reportedly threatened the contractor, DSC Limited, with blacklisting because of its tardiness. The revised deadline for the project is now July but officials claim that the stretch may not become motorable before Independence Day.

The stretch was originally scheduled to be finished by May but still there are at least two junctions where the bridge segments are yet to be launched onto the pillars. The road is one of the important projects connecting Commonwealth Games Village with Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.

Meanwhile, DSC’s demand for Rs 60 crore more for the launching of segments has caused outrage in PWD. Said an irate senior official of the department, ‘‘the tender was for the bridge. It is not as if when we handed over the project to them, we had asked them to erect the casts on the side and leave them like that. What money are they asking for now? This is ridiculous.’’ The 5.5km bridge is costing the government approximately Rs 498 crore.

The project manager sometime back wrote to the government asking for emergency powers to change the contractor. He was not given any permission. Senior PWD officials, however, maintained that the CM was ‘‘satisfied’’ with what she saw during her inspection round.

Sources however point out that July deadline in itself is tricky as monsoon is expected to arrive by the end of this month. ‘‘Even if we are left with just carpeting work by the time rains arrive, it will be very difficult as we need dry surface for carpeting. It usually takes 24 hours for the surface to dry up after a single spell,’’said a source.

Meanwhile, a DSC spokesperson said: “The government had asked for certain additional items which were beyond the original scope of work. Hence there was a need for additional expenditure. This is routine in projects of this nature and expenditure can either increase or decrease depending on changes made to the scope of work.”