Delay in acquiring private land along the Yamuna floodplain forced the private construction company, hired by PWD, to stop work nearly three months back.
Commuters waiting for a signal-free ride from East to South Delhi will have to wait quite a while longer, as the Delhi government will take at least two more years to complete the Barapullah Phase III elevated corridor, connecting Mayur Vihar I with Sarai Kale Khan.
The Public Works Department (PWD), which is carrying out the construction work through an agency, missed its December 2017 deadline and is now expected to finish the work by 2020.
PWD officials attributed the missed deadline to procedural delay. According to sources, delay in acquiring private land along the Yamuna floodplain forced the private construction company, hired by PWD, to stop work nearly three months back.
Officials in PWD said they needed to acquire two plots measuring 500 m and 250 m to erect pillars for the elevated corridor. The state government had started acquiring land in 2015 when the project began.
Sources said that landowners were ready to sell their land, but the legalities under the Land Acquisition Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act 2013 had put a spanner in the works.
A senior official in PWD said, “According to the new rules, before acquiring private land, a Social Impact Assessment [SIA] of the land has to be done. Though the process was started two years back, the government delayed appointing agencies for the SIA.”
The government finally appointed an agency for conducting the SIA in September 2017, and the report is expected to come through by March end, 2018. “SIA is a mandatory procedure to be followed in land acquisition. The government will have to ascertain whether the project is in public interest. It is done by a government-appointed agency, comprising experts, including officials of the district administration,” the official added.
“We were told that the government [urban development department] will take around a year to acquire the land after the SIA report is submitted. Once the land has been handed over, it will take a year and a half for us to complete construction. So we have set an estimated deadline of 2020,” the official added.
The Barapullah elevated corridor was planned in three phases. The first phase was constructed in 2010 during the Commonwealth Games, connecting Sarai Kale Khan and Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. The second phase, which is also under construction, connects the stadium to INA market, while Phase III will connect Mayur Vihar Phase I to Sarai Kale Khan.
It is expected that the third phase of the Barapullah corridor will give a signal-free stretch to commuters moving from East to South Delhi, who will be able to make the journey in just 20 minutes.