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Good things come to those who wait? Pragati Maidan revamp gets 4th date

Good things come to those who wait? Pragati Maidan revamp gets 4th date

SMOOTH TRAVEL: Deadline For 1.2km-Long Tunnel, 6 Underpasses Pushed By 2 Months

New Delhi:

The Pragati Maidan redevelopment project has got another deadline. Instead of May, the project is now expected to be completed by early July. If the public works department (PWD) sticks to its fourth deadline, the commute on Mathura Road, Ring Road and Bhairon Marg will become a smooth experience thanks to a 1.2km-long tunnel and six underpasses.

The project seeks to make Mathura Road — from the ITO W-point to Delhi Public School — and the Bhairon Marg-Ring Road intersection signal-free through the underpasses. The tunnel, on the other hand, will connect India Gate to Ring Road through Purana Quila Road/Mathura Road.

The main reason behind the delay is the construction ban imposed during the winter, said an official. The project budget, which was estimated at Rs 932 crore, has escalated at least to Rs 1,000 crore, he added.

The six-lane tunnel will run under Pragati Maidan from Purana Qila Road to Ring Road, reducing almost half the snarls caused by three major traffic signals on the stretch. The unfinished section is outside the Pragati Maidan premises, an official added.

The main beneficiaries will be the commuters heading for east Delhi from south and Lutyens’ Delhi through India Gate and ITO. The vehicles going towards south Delhi from ITO will also have access to the tunnel from Mathura Road, providing a much-needed alternative to Bhairon Marg, especially during peak hours. This will also eventually reduce the traffic volume at the ITO traffic signal.

Around 800 meters of the tunnel, running under Pragati Maidan, has been completed. Of the rest, 200 meters are being dug up underneath railway tracks using the “box pushing method” — segments are cast outside and pushed through heavy embankments of rail or road — to leave the train schedule undisturbed, said an official. Two boxes will have to be pushed, and the work for the second box will be completed by the end of this month, he added.

Two of the five underpasses on Mathura Road are near Sunder Nagar while three are between Pragati Maidan and the Supreme Court premises. The other underpass on Ring Road connects it to Bhairon Marg. According to an India Trade Promotion Organisation official, around 60% of the work for all underpasses has been completed.

According to the plan, two elevated clover-leaf roundabouts on Ring Road are being built for south- and north-Delhi-bound vehicles emerging from the underpass. Both roundabouts are almost on the verge of completion.

The U-turns at the Bhairon Marg and the Subramaniam Bharti Marg crossings are also being replaced with elevated U-turns, giving more space to the vehicles going towards ITO. Instead of traffic signals, the three crossings at Sher Shah Road, Bhairon Marg and Subramaniam Bharati Marg will have underpasses for south-bound vehicles. Two more U-turns will be constructed at Sunder Nagar.