Delayed For A Decade, RTR Flyover Still Struggles For Attention
What the Delhi High Court quoted as ‘misadventure’ is rightly the one of the most struggling infrastructure projects of the national capital. Proposed as two-carriageway flyover between Munirka and IIT Gate, the Raja Tula Ram flyover was converted into a single-lane flyover in 2009 due to objections raised by the residents calling it a constant source of ‘noise pollution’. While the single-carriageway flyover created further traffic bottlenecks, a parallel road was finally proposed in November 2014 which has already missed three deadlines. Now, the latest deadline has been set to December 2018 for which the Public Works’ Department (PWD) is racing against time.
The initial plan was to construct a two-way 900-meter flyover between IIT gate and Munirka but due to change in plans a single-lane flyover came into existence. Now, a parallel road is under-construction which is 2.7-km long and will run along the RTR Flyover from Munirka petrol pump and end before the National Highway 8, close to the Army Hospital at Subroto Park. The older bridge will be restricted for commuters moving from the airport to Delhi. So far, only 42 per cent work has been completed and the latest deadline has been set to December 2018.
PWD officials say the delays were due to late permission for cutting of trees, shifting of utilities, residents’ opposition and financial problems with the construction company.
The delay has also pushed up the budget for the flyover. Started with Rs 278 crore, the cost of the bridge has been escalated by 19 per cent in just three years, to Rs 330 crore. Currently, the speed of construction is one per cent per month which even if increased to three per cent, will take another 30 months to complete the project, which means the flyover is further slated to be delayed.
The 12-year timeline
Mid-2006: Two-carriageway RTR flyover planned
May 2007: Government panel rejects plan on ground of noise pollution in nearby areas, clears one-way flyover.
October 2009: Single lane RTR Flyover gets operational
Early 2010: One-way RTR Flyover converted into make-shift two-way carriageway by splitting the road with barricades
September 2014: Residents approach Delhi High Court.
November 2014: Parallel flyover planned with the deadline of 2016.
November 2016, September 2017, March 2018: Deadline missed
December 2018: Latest deadline