Delhi's Bhairon Marg Underpass project set to miss Dec 15 deadline: officials

Delhi's Bhairon Marg Underpass project set to miss Dec 15 deadline: officials

New Delhi, Nov 23 (PTI) Commuters' wait to travel on the Bhairon Marg underpass here has just got a little longer as the project completion has been pushed to December end, officials said on Thursday.

The Delhi government had plans to make a portion of the Bhairon Road underpass operational by December 15, but a delay was caused due to the construction ban that was recently in place in the national capital owing to GRAP stage IV restrictions, a senior official said.

'While a majority of restrictions on construction still continue under GRAP stage III, the work that is being done on the portion in progress is under the non-restricted category,' the official said.

'We had plans to open the portion by December 15 but now it will be opened either in the last week of December or the first week of January. But that will only be possible if GRAP Stage IV is not invoked again,' he added.

The Underpass number 5 — one of the five underpasses that form part of the Pragati Maidan integrated transit corridor — has missed several deadlines.

It was supposed to be operational last December. Since then, it has faced multiple delays due to several reasons, including the Delhi floods, that have hampered the work.

“The Bhairon Road underpass is 110 metres in length but its location — beneath a busy railway line — has proved to be challenging,” a senior PWD official said.

The official said they plan to make two lanes of the underpass operational by December or January.

“We are trying to complete work on the ITO-Bhairon Road portion by December and thereafter we plan to throw it open to the public. Work on the remaining portion will continue,” he added.

Speaking about the work on the remaining portion, he said they have hit a roadblock and are trying to figure out a new technology to complete it. They were earlier using the box pushing technology but the July floods led to a lot of sediment accumulating in the area, which made the surface uneven.

'While the sediment has been removed, the surface has become uneven, making it impossible for the boxes to be pushed. We are trying to use our time till there are restrictions in place and finalise a technique,” the official explained.

The box pushing technique does not require vertical excavation or large-scale digging. Instead, reinforced cement concrete boxes are pushed with the help of hydraulic jacks to create a subway tunnel.

Earlier this year, Public Works Development Minister Atishi inspected the work and had said the road between Delhi’s two inter-state bus terminals — Kashmere Gate and Sarai Kale Khan — will be completely signal-free once the underpass is completed.

Hundreds of thousands of vehicles passing via this route will no longer have to face traffic, she had said. PTI SLB RPA

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