No big-ticket projects for NDMC

Budget focuses on plans still in pipeline

With several ambitious projects yet to be completed, the New Delhi Municipal Council on Monday came up with no major development project in its budget announcements for the next financial year.

Announcing a Rs 2,021 crore budget for the next fiscal, NDMC chairperson Archana Arora said the focus is on completing projects in the 2013-14 budget.

While the Council has decided against announcing new big projects, it extended the deadline of the ambitious Connaught Place redevelopment project by another few months. Several other projects like redevelopment of Khan Market and multilevel parkings at Khan Market and KG Marg are yet to see the light of day.

Connaught Place will continue to remain dug up at least till March-end as NDMC has extended the deadline the project. After missing several deadlines, the CP project was expected to be over by December last year, but work is still incomplete in two of 12 blocks.

Despite several delays, contractor EIL is expected to go scot free as NDMC is unwilling to take action. According to Arora, the focus is on completing the project. “At this stage, we want the project to complete. Once that is done we will see if the contractor is to be blamed for the delay,” said Arora.

“There are several components of the CP redevelopment plan. It includes building subways, restoring the façade and digging a tunnel in the middle circle. A major part of the work is complete and we expect the project to be over by March-end,” she said.
She gave a list of work that still needs to be done at the commercial hub, such as building more subways and shifting essential services like electricity, telecommunication, fire services and water supply to an underground network.

However, NDMC will not build an underground parking as was planned, and four out of eight originally planned subways will be shelved as well. Now, it will build only four subways.

The project was supposed to cost Rs 674 crore, but over time some plans were changed and currently the budget stands at Rs 400 crore. “Till now Rs 296 crore has been spent,” Arora said.

She said work on other ambitious projects like the Khan Market redevelopment plan, and multilevel parkings at Khan Market and KG Marg will start soon.

Consultant appointed

“A consultant was appointed for the Khan Market project. It has submitted the report. We are in continuos correspondence with the market association too. There are two associations at the market, and we are talking with both to finalise the layout of the project soon,” said Arora.

However, she held the concessionaire of the KG Marg parking project responsible for the delay. “It was the responsibility of the concessionaire to get all the clearances required. Currently, the project is held due to want of clearance from the National Monument Authority. Once that happens, work will start,” she said.

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