Saturday, August 28, 2010

Furniture on Roads for Games: Forget it

Here is another broken promise. To ensure an ‘‘uniform look’’ in the city, civic bodies were expected to install similar street furniture on 54 major roads leading to stadiums, airport and railway station before the Commonwealth Games. But with streetscaping work yet to complete, the civic agencies were drastically cutting down on what they had promised.

In fact, NDMC said it would not install most of the street furniture items as it was no longer ‘‘viable’’. MCD and PWD, on their part, claimed essential services like toilets, traffic police posts, benches and kiosks would be installed only on major roads.

Said a MCD official: ‘‘Streetscaping work is still going on at Bhism Pitamah Marg, Khel Gaon Marg etc. Till this work doesn’t get over and malba is not removed, work on street furniture cannot start. This work will only start in September and will be completed just before the Games.’’

Street furniture is being installed on BoT basis. It includes coffee kiosks, information kiosks, benches, tree guards, toilets, advertisement panels, traffic police posts and dustbins.

‘‘Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation (DTTDC) has been given the responsibility to procure street furniture for our roads. We are working on bases for street furniture. Installing them will not take time. The work will begin by mid-September,’’ said K K Sharma, principal secretary at PWD. ‘‘In phase-I, all major roads around stadiums will be taken up.’’

As per the original plan, 24 roads belonging to PWD, 21 to MCD and nine to NDMC were supposed to be upgraded with street furniture. MCD said it would now install furniture only on 12 major roads like Bhishm Pitamah Marg, Lodhi Road, Maharishi Valmiki Marg etc. Said MCD press and information director, Deep Mathur: ‘‘We will start work for installing street furniture on 12 stretches soon. The work should be completed by September 7.’’

NDMC claimed it would only install benches along its streetscape stretches. Said NDMC spokesperson, Anand Tiwari: ‘‘There were nine elements that we had decided on earlier but dropped most of them as they did not seem viable. Streetlights and benches will be installed along all of our stretches.’’