Upgradation of 1,400 kilometres of roads and construction of 29 flyovers, including three double-decker structures, are part of the Delhi government’s vision for a beautiful and modern city which is hosting the G-20 Summit later this year. Delhi Finance Minister Kailash Gahlot, who presented a Rs 78,800-crore budget in the Delhi assembly for 2023-24 on Wednesday, proposed an allocation of Rs 3,126 crore for the various road and flyover projects.
The city government had allocated Rs 9,539 crore to transport and infrastructure in 2022-23. For 2023-24, there is a marginal decrease in the allocation to Rs 9,337 crore although the government said that the budget mainly focuses on transport and infrastructure.
Under the government’s plans for clean, beautiful and modern Delhi, it will take up upgradation and beautification of the PWD’s entire road network of 1,400 kms, construction of 26 new flyovers/underpasses/bridges in different parts of the national capital and building three double-decker flyovers in collaboration with the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC).
“We are launching this effort in a very significant year when Delhi will be hosting India’s first G20 Summit,” he said.
Interestingly, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had announced the road upgradation project in January this year and said that work orders will be issued by March 20 and the work will commence from April 1.
When asked about the delay in the project during the post-budget press conference, Kejriwal rued the fact that there has not be a regular PWD secretary since February.
“Services is not with us. There has not been a permanent PWD secretary since February. The tendering process was supposed to happen on this project by April 1. I have told LG sahab 10 times to appoint a PWD secretary. Due to the absence of a PWD secretary, the road project file was not approved,” he said.
IAS officer A Anbarasu has been assigned the charge of principal secretary in the PWD, alongside additional charge of principal secretary (trade and tax), according to an order issued earlier this month. Till the time he assumes charge, Manish Kumar Gupta, the additional chief secretary (land and building) will hold charge as the PWD’s additional chief secretary, it had said.
During his budget speech, Gahlot said that the revamping of roads includes time- bound maintenance of the central verges, streets and footpaths.
A total of 210 water sprinklers cum anti-smog gun machines, 18 dump vehicles and 18 water tankers will be used for dust suppression on the streets while additional 250 small water sprinklers cum anti-smog gun machines will be deployed in all the municipal wards of the national capital.
The project will also involve fixing of potholes, defining lane markings and painting of zebra crossings, encroachment removal and regular cleaning of footpaths.
“This entire initiative of upgrading and beautifying Delhi roads is being planned with a 10-year horizon and with an anticipated expenditure of ₹ 19,466 crore. For the coming financial year, Rs 2,034 crore is proposed for this scheme,” he said.
Sharing the roadmap for construction of flyovers, he said the 26 new flyover/underpass/bridge projects include some landmark projects such as Barapullah Phase 3 flyover from Sarai Kale Khan to Mayur Vihar, a flyover from Punjabi Bagh to Raja Garden, and elevated road at Najafgarh Phirni.
“Delhi is the only state in the country where the cost of construction of flyovers has not increased, and by working honestly and efficiently, the government has saved Rs 536 crore of the public money. I propose Rs 772 crore for new flyovers/underpasses/bridges in FY 23-24,” Gahlot said.
The three unique double-decker flyovers — Bhajanpura to Yamuna Vihar, Azadpur to Rani Jhansi intersections, and from Saket to Pul Prahaladpur — will see vehicles running on the lower deck, while the Metro rail will run on the upper deck.
“These flyovers have been designed in such a way that they will save on costs. With these three unique projects, the government will be saving Rs 121 crore of taxpayers’ money. I propose Rs 320 crore for the three double-decker flyover projects in FY 23-24. I propose a total budget of Rs 3,126 crore for all the above projects of roads and bridges,” he added.
Gahlot also listed out the infrastructure completed by the government in the last eight years.
“The Signature Bridge, which was completed in 2018, is a source of pride for the people of Delhi. Phase II of the Barapullah flyover connecting Sarai Kale Khan and INA market was also completed in 2018. These projects were a symbol of endless delays and inefficiencies of the past governments of Delhi.
“It gives me tremendous pride to share that in the last eight years, the PWD has constructed 28 new flyovers, elevated roads and bridges that have significantly improved commute for the people of Delhi,” he said.
Gahlot said that this year, works on the Ashram flyover and underpass were also completed easing out the daily commute for close to four lakh vehicles in Delhi.