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Only 5% work left, RTR flyover may finally be opened in June

Only 5% work left, RTR flyover may finally be opened in June

Over 2L People To Benefit; PWD Officials Hope Not To Miss Another Deadline

New Delhi:

After perhaps the longest time taken for a flyover to be constructed, the Rao Tula Ram flyover is nearing completion and is set to be thrown open for commuters by June 15, around a fortnight beyond the extended deadline of Mayend. Only a single span needs to be cast, after which tests will be carried out on flyover for a few days before people can use it.

Describing this as ‘great news’, a source in the Public Works Department claimed that just “5% of the work” needed to be finished. PWD officials were sure that they wouldn’t miss the June deadline, unofficially their fifth. Once completed, RTR flyover will ease the drive to Indira Gandhi International Airport from south Delhi. More than two lakh commuters are expected to benefit every day from this facility, and at long last, the daily woes of vehicle owners in battling the ever present traffic jam at this spot could come to an end.

The construction of the RTR flyover began in November 2014, with the completion scheduled for 2016. By the end of that year, however, the project was a mere 5% done. Several technical, financial and environmental factors contributed to the delay. One of the major hurdles, permission for tree felling, finally came in September 2016 and the work started in earnest. “We needed to chop down 500 trees for building the flyover, among the highest number felled for any project in Delhi. That is why getting permission for their chopping took such a very long time,” said an official.

But the problems did not end there. Despite the hastened pace of construction, there were delays in the form of diversion of traffic on the route and hitches in shifting of the power and Delhi Jal Board lines. The court cases filed by the area residents against the flyover’s construction also added to the project time, claimed PWD officials.

A source said that it wasn’t obstacles created by the use of new technologies, just a series of unfortunate problems cropping up regularly. The delays led to the ignominy of the private company hired to build the flyover, Hindustan Construction Company, being penalised Rs. 27.8 crore for not meeting the deadline.

The work of putting up the 77 U-shaped pillars on the 2.9-km stretch was completed only by mid-September 2018. An official said that there were no service lanes on the stretch and this brought additional traffic to the road.

The three-lane flyover, budgeted at Rs 278 crore, starts near Munirka petrol pump and then slopes down around 400 metres from R&R Army Hospital. It had to be built because of the lack of foresight in constructing a two-lane flyover in 2009 that only ended up creating a gridlock on the approaches on either side of the elevated portions.