With the underground electricity cabling work and construction of stormwater drain nearing completion, the Shahjahanabad Redevelopment Corporation (SRDC) is expecting to finish its ambitious — Chandni Chowk pedestrianisation and beautification project — by October end.
The officials, associated with the project, said that largely stonework remained, and efforts were being made to finish a part of about 1.3 km long Chandni Chowk road in July.
“The power company has almost finished power cable laying work up to the feeder boxes except for a patch near Town Hall. They will just need to connect individual meters, installed outside the shops, to the box. The power company people should be out of the area in the next two-three days. A small portion of the stormwater drain about 40-50 metre is to be done and a water pipeline is to be extended to the tank near Bagh Wali Masjid,” said a representative of a government agency.
The project is moving at a snail’s pace since October when the Supreme Court banned construction activities in Delhi and NCR due to a rise in air pollution level. The work had come to a complete halt in the last week of March after the corona induced nationwide lockdown was imposed.
However, the contractors resumed activities in May but have been struggling to get sufficient workforce to fast track the project since then. March 31 was the deadline of the project, which started back in December 2018.
“The pace of the progress has gone completely haywire. The managing director of the corporation was removed then the consultant architect Pradeep Sachdeva died. After the coronavirus crisis, the availability of funds is also an issue. Nodal officers are also occupied with the pandemic crisis, but the authorities are trying to complete the project by October,” said another official.
At present, only about 50 workers at the site carry out different activities. The officials said that the stakeholders had been asked to work out a fresh deadline. The official said that the part of a stretch — starting from Red Fort to Phuwwara (fountain) Chowk-might be ready for opening by the first week of July. “The construction of the two toilets near Lajpat Rai Market will begin soon,” he added.
THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS
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