Friday, 8 January 2010

We've started but we can't finish: NDMC

After making a mess of Connaught Place by starting digging work in Middle Circle to transfer all cables and pipelines underground before Commonwealth Games and Outer Circle to upgrade eight subways New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) officials are now saying they might not be able to complete the work in Middle Circle before the Games.

This has hit CP's traders hard. They say sales have dropped by more than 50% and that they might be forced to hold protests against the ongoing work. Construction of the CP Metro station had earlier given them a setback and they are just recovering from it.

NDMC had started digging work in Middle Circle to carry out service ducting to place all cables and pipelines underground before the Games. But NDMC sources say that while tunnelling will be completed before the Games, they will not be able to transfer the service lines underground by then. Then why the hurry?

Said an NDMC official: "We will complete tunnelling before the Games but cables and pipelines will be placed underground only after the Commonwealth Games. Once tunnelling is complete, we will re-lay the road and beautify the area. The tunnel had to be made before carrying out beautification of the area and we will be ready with the tunnel before the Games. No further digging will be needed later as the service lines will be transferred underground through openings that will be made overground."

At present, facade restoration work is going on in 16 blocks of CP. It has already eaten into footpaths, making it difficult for pedestrians to walk in the area. Around 30-40% of restoration work has been completed till now. Besides this, NDMC has also begun construction of eight subways in Outer Circle, which has completely choked traffic in the area as only half the carriageway is available for traffic.

The traders are also sceptical about the subway work which has an August 2010 deadline getting completed before the Games as the monsoon is likely to delay work for at least two months.

Said president of New Delhi Traders' Association, Atul Bharghav: "They are holding CP to ransom. We cannot continue to bear losses for six months. Sales have dropped by more than 50% and this is peak business time for us. I have been getting calls from agitated shopkeepers. In such a scenario, we might have to hold protests. NDMC shouldn't have started work on the project like this. They are cutting it too close to the deadline. We are going to hold a meeting on this matter on Friday to chart our course of action."

Says Sneha Singh, who works in a bank in CP: "It is complete madness. It takes me an hour just to get to CP and there are constant traffic jams on Panchkuian Road, Minto Road etc. I have to get out of my house in Lajpat Nagar at least two hours before office hours in order to get to office on time. Finding parking is also impossible with no parking now available in Outer Circle and Middle Circle."


vinod kumar garg said...

This is full of foolish step of NDMC to start the work on Sub Ways and ducting work.The face lifting and work of flooring can be completed within time frame of work by compromising quality of work.Whereas simple work of ding the white snocem uniformly on the outer walls of building definetely we could achieved the better and economically results.
But in the race of earning money by placing the reputation of this country everybody wants to collect.

Anonymous said...

Vinod ji,
I agree... I own few shops in and around CP area and I am frustrated by the apathy shown by all and sundry.. The whole idea is to make CP better before games.. but everyone is missing hte point. I am afraid that once games are over, the work will not be carried forward and shoppers will continue to face issues @ CP

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