This is again turning out to be a hollow promise. A day before the deadline set for removing debris gets over, the government authorities are still finding it difficult to clear the city of malba(debris) dug out during various Games works.
Though officials claimed that they have already removed malba(debris) from all stretches except those where work is still on, a survey by a Times City team on Monday portrayed a completely different picture. Construction material and loose soil are still piled up on many stretches, including Vikas Marg, Ring Road (near IG stadium), NH-24, Bhairon Marg, around Connaught Place, Deshbandhu Gupta Marg, Daryaganj and Paharganj, across the city.
Under fire for the constant digging work undertaken by out-of-sync agencies, chief minister Sheila Dikshit had recently fixed August 10 as the deadline for malba(debris) removal and directed all civic agencies to strictly comply with the order. The embarrassed government also roped in a private firm.
The tough posturing seems to have worked but the agencies want deadline revised one last time. Government officials claimed that there has been significant progress with nearly 80,000 metric tonnes of debris already removed. An official release from the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) said that the Burari debris processing plant has received 50,000 metric tonnes of malba(debris) since the deadline was set. MCD has identified 172 sites for dumping of leftover construction material from all sites in the capital.
It further said that since the deadline for finishing of Commonwealth Games related works work has been extended to August 31, the cutoff date for complete removal of malba(debris) may be reviewed by Delhi government. Top officials in the city government also accepted that mopping up all the leftover construction material is impossible at this stage. ‘‘Already over 90% of malba(debris) has been cleared from Delhi roads. Where construction activity is still under way, you may find some debris that is generated during the work. But we are ensuring quicker removal of malba(debris) from all sites,’’ claimed PWD minister Raj Kumar Chauhan.
NDMC also made similar claims. ‘‘We have taken up the mopping-up exercise. Almost all roads have been cleared. Since work is still on in Connaught Place, everyday some debris is getting generated. We are clearing them simultaneously,’’ NDMC spokesperson said. However, what was evident from the site and from the volume of debris is that the leftover construction material has been lying there for past few days.
Meanwhile, senior officials said that usually deadlines help them to complete major portion of the pending work. ‘‘It has helped. We might be able to get everything cleared in next 15-20 days,’’ a senior official claimed.