One deadline missed, MCD sets another for Games projects (Commonwealth Games Countdown)

(Attn Editors: This is the seventh of the 100-day countdown series for the 19th Commonwealth Games in New Delhi. This is about how Delhi’s civic body has set a new deadline of July 15 for completing its Games-related projects)

New Delhi, July 6 (IANS) Dug-up roads, unfinished footpaths and drains choked with debris are a common sight in the Indian capital right now, but Delhi’s civic agency – after missing the June 30 deadline for most of its Commonwealth Games projects – says work will be completed by July 15.

With just 90 days left for the Games as of Monday, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) claims it is giving the final touches to infrastructure works and promises to showcase a clean and green Delhi much before the extravaganza.

Municipal Commissioner K.S. Mehra said: ‘Around 90 percent of the Games related projects are over. I assure you that the remaining works would be completed by July 15,’ said Mehra.

Many residents are complaining about roads that have been dug up, half done footpaths and choked drains in due to works pertaining to the Games.

‘Instead of getting a facelift through re-development work, Karol Bagh and Paharganj – two old and congested localities – look more cluttered,’ Sandeep Khandelwal, president, Delhi Hotel and Restaurant Owners’ Association, told IANS.

Street-scaping projects have slowed down and central verges at many places are being demolished and re-built, allege residents.

But the authorities are say things are set to improve.

Delhi Mayor Prithvi Raj Sawhney said: ‘MCD officials are on their toes not just to finish the upgradation work but to turn the national capital spic and span.’

‘Usually the MCD launches a special sanitation drive on the eve of festival days to spruce up the city. But this year we have launched it during monsoon due to the Games.’

In the sanitation drive, road signs, marks of lanes and zebra crossings will be painted. As per the plan, the edges of sidewalks and railings will be repaired and painted.

Special attention will be given to the sanitation of latrines and urinals in schools and hospitals run by the civic body.

To prevent water-logging during the monsoon, the MCD plan to remove debris from several areas. At least one site in each ward will be identified where debris generated out of construction can be thrown, Sawhney said.

Mehra said: ‘Other agencies like BSES, New Delhi Power Limited (NDPL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) are still doing their work, so there is a delay. One they finish their work, the MCD will finalise the projects within 10 days after that.’

Though June 30 had been fixed for completion of the Games projects entrusted to the MCD, most of the works are still underway.

‘In certain areas water lines are being laid, therefore roads have not been given the final touches. We are trying to finish the remaining work by July 15,’ said a senior MCD official on the condition of anonymity.

The MCD was allotted over Rs.1,000 crore for various Games projects. Of which, the repair of 36 major roads, and landscaping of roads leading to the stadium, venues and the training centre are almost complete.

New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) spokesperson Anand Tiwari said, ‘Half of the street-scaping work is over, the remaining work will be completed by August.’

NDMC expects to complete the Rs.400 crore project being carried out in Connaught Place by August. It also hopes to throw open six subways before the Games.

Ducting work and service tunnel work in the middle circle, and renovation of five old subways are under way in Connaught Place. Besides this, road signages are being installed along 28 corridors and they will be put up by end of July.

(Prathiba Raju can be contacted at prathiba.r@ians.in)

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