Some of the Press Reports in the newspapers of 14th Oct, 2018 are misleading about inauguration of mobility projects in Delhi and the funds allocated thereon. It has been conveyed that Delhi specific projects have been funded by AAP-led Delhi Govt. However, the fact of the matter is that Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs approved five major mobility projects worth Rs. 1826.40 crores for the benefit of Delhi citizens. The projects being implemented using Urban Development Fund (UDF) have been administered by the Ministry of HUA. These projects aim at decongestion of Delhi to ease traffic movement, reduce traffic congestion, segregate vehicular and pedestrian traffic by providing FOB’s/ subways etc.
The Ministry of HUA sanctioned six projects in 2016 in which the Delhi government had to contribute 20%. However, because there was no cooperation forthcoming from the Delhi government, it was decided in October 2017 that one of the projects related to ISBT flyover on Ring Road will be done fully by Delhi government and the other five will be funded by the Ministry and DDA. Delhi government on its own had taken over projects related to Majnu Ka Tila flyover apart from ISBT flyover: projects costing Rs. 320 crores. It is surprising that even foundation stones for these projects have not been laid and no financial sanction taken by Delhi government.
On the other hand, MoS (IC) Housing and Urban Affairs, Shri Hardeep Singh Puri has pushed five projects vigorously for implementation for the comfort of Citizens of Delhi and providing them ease of living.
First among them, the skywalk at ITO for which Shri Puri laid the foundation stone on November 09, 2017, is going to be inaugurated by him and Lt Gov of Delhi on October 15, 2018. Even though the project is being executed by PWD, this Rs 54 crore project has been funded by the Ministry of HUA. The project will provide world class, safe, nature friendly connectivity at a very busy traffic intersection point at ITO.
Another project costing Rs. 200 crore which has Grade Seperator at Rani Jhansi Road and was held up for so many years, will be inaugurated by the MoS (IC) MoHUA on October 16, 2018. This has been made
possible through UDF funding. It will immensely ease traffic flow on the Rani Jhansi Road which is one of the main arterial roads of Delhi and will de-congest the highly dense areas near Sadar Bazar, Filmistan, Idgah, etc. besides improving connectivity between North and Central Delhi.
The third project—a flyover-cum-underpass—at Mahipalpur is going on in full swing. This Rs.188 crore project is likely to be inaugurated before March 2019. This will improve access to the Airport from South Delhi, Mehrauli, Vasant Kunj, Faridabad and South Gurgoan etc., and will ease traffic around the area.
The fourth project, Construction of Flyover-cum-ROB on UER-I at Narela, for which foundation stone was laid by MoS (IC) Housing and Urban Affairs and the LG, Delhi is also likely to be completed by March 2019. The project is being implemented by DDA.
The fifth project, Construction of Integrated Transit Corridor Development Plan along Mathura Road, Bhairon Marg, Mahatma Gandhi Marg and connecting Mathura Road to Mahatma Gandhi Marg via Underground Tunnel below Pragati Maidan, costing around Rs. 980 crore, for which foundation stone was laid by the Vice-President in December 2017, is also going on in full swing. The project aims at decongestion of the road networks for the Project influence area and would simultaneously be providing direct access to underground tunnel for internationally acclaimed ITPO with world class convention Centre, ITPO hotel area and to the Under Ground Parking. Traffic decongestion intervention includes unhindered access to the basement parking at Pragat Maidan. It will connect Mathura road to Ring Road through a Tunnel cutting across Pragati Maidan, Making Mathura Road signal free, smooth movement of traffic on intersections of Mathura Road and Bhairon Marg and that of Bhairon Marg and Ring Road. The project will further ease traffic on Purana Quila Road, Shershah Road and Subramaniam Bharti Marg.
It may be noted that Delhi government, despite repeated reminders, has still not committed financial expenditure for Phase IV of Delhi Metro which will be a major gain for Delhi citizens in many ways. The project is imperative on account of increased pollution and degradation of air quality in the city for which personalised road transport is a major contributor. There is an urgency to address the issue with introduction of public transport infrastructure and reduction in the local air pollution from transport mode utilising more fossil fuels per passenger trip. This can be facilitated through modal shift from personalised vehicles using fossil fuel to a much more cleaner mode of urban rail.
The government of India agreed to prioritise three projects— costing Rs. 34,580 crores: (i) Aerocity to Tughlakabad (20.20 km.), (ii) Janakpuri West to R.K. Ashram (28.92 km.) and (iii) Mukundpur to Maujpur (12.54 km.). But Delhi government has still not c its intent for early 3 phase of Delhi Metro or what is prevalent in other states at 50:50 model.
Estimated for Rs 320 Crores for construction of flyovers at Metcalfe House and Majnu ka Tilla T junctions and additional loop at ISBT flyover on Ring road still pending with Finance department of Delhi government.
Another major mobility initiative project relates to Delhi to Meerut RRTS corridor of 82.15 k.m. length and its total estimated completion cost is Rs. 31,902 crores. The proposal for Rapid Rail Transit System (RRTS) between Meerut and Delhi was submitted to Government of Uttar Pradesh (GOUP) and Government of National Capital Territory, Delhi (GNCTD) by NCRTC for approval on 09.12.2016. GoUP has approved the DPR on 19.07.2017. GNCTD on 30.07.2018 has conveyed their readiness to grant ‘in-principle’ approval for the implementation of Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut RRTS corridor. GNCTD has also conveyed that they do not have adequate finances to meet the cost and share of Delhi in the project cost may be borne by the Central Government.
In short, a false narrative is being created in Media. MoHUA will be happy to help Delhi government in mobility projects which primarily is Delhi government’s responsibility.