The redeveloped Chandni Chowk's inauguration was scheduled for April 17 but it was cancelled due to the pandemic.
For most of the ongoing infrastructure projects across Delhi, the deadlines have been revised by over two months owing to the COVID-19 pandemic-induced lockdown that put a pause in the development work of the projects as labourers started leaving for their hometowns. Though work on most of these projects has resumed, the pace still remains sluggish. A Public Works Department (PWD) official was quoted in an IE report that around 50 per cent of labourers have returned back and development work will start in full swing by early July. The deadlines of the projects will be revised on a case-to-case basis, the PWD official further said.
For instance, according to the report, the redeveloped Chandni Chowk’s inauguration was scheduled for April 17 but it was cancelled due to the pandemic. The Central verge is said to be complete, with only CCTVs and a few street lights are left to be set up. Meanwhile, work has been completed on one side of the scramble crossing in front of Red Fort and on the other side, work has recently started. Once the work on the scramble crossing is completed, it will allow pedestrians to cross in all directions as well as ensure that the theme of the area is in tune with the redeveloped Chandni Chowk. According to officials, work will be wrapped up by July’s first or second week.
Besides, piling work and widening of the road at the DND-Ashram extension site is in progress and to transplant trees and shift utilities, officials are awaiting approval. The project’s progress sheet, the work’s overall progress has been badly hampered because of the sudden migration of labour from the site due to the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite this, the project is aimed to be completed by its original deadline of December 2021. The six-lane flyover will connect DND to the existing Ashram flyover and it will serve as a crucial link between South, West, East Delhi, and Noida.
For the Ashram underpass, the deadline has now been shifted from June to August 31. For Barapullah Phase III, a fresh deadline will be announced after a land issue is resolved. According to a senior PWD official, for the beautification of seven road stretches spanning over 35 km, a fresh date has not been announced. He said it was supposed to be completed by the month of October but it might be delayed by 1.5 months or so.
Shortage of labour is not the only issue in some projects. At Pragati Maidan Integrated Transit Corridor’s site, labourers stayed back as the contract company had provided them with accommodation. However, some five-six site engineers had fallen ill and development work had slowed down when novel coronavirus cases hit a peak, an official said. The project, which was scheduled for completion by the end of May, will now be completed in the coming month, officials said.