Sisodia inaugurates Ashram underpass in south Delhi

New Delhi: Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Sunday inaugurated the much-awaited Ashram underpass on Mathura Road in south Delhi, and said the facility will benefit lakhs of commuters travelling through the stretch.

The underpass opened after missing eight deadlines and a delay of over a year.

It connects Bhogal with New Friends Colony on the Mathura Road.

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After its opening, motorists travelling to ITO and other parts of central Delhi from New Friends Colony and Badarpur will have a smooth ride through the busy Ashram crossing.

Ashram Chowk is an important link between central and south Delhi and also with Faridabad. The junction connects Mathura Road and Ring Road (linking Lajpat Nagar-Sarai Kale Khan and the DND flyover).

Addressing a small gathering, Sisodia, who also holds the PWD portfolio, said the underpass will not only save time of commuters but will also result in daily saving of 1,550 litre fuel.

“I am told by engineers here that nearly 1,550 litre fuel is burnt by commuters daily while waiting at the Ashram crossing only. It will also reduce the emission of 3,600 kg of carbon gas. Now, all this fuel and money along with travelling time will be saved. It will benefit lakhs of commuters of Delhi,” Sisodia said.

It was a complex construction and was very difficult to construct the underpass during heavy traffic, he said.

Sisodia said proper arrangements have been made to ensure there is no waterlogging in the underpass during the monsoon season.

Last month, Sisodia had said the facility will be opened for public on March 22 but it could not be done because of non-completion of work.

However, the PWD had started the trial run of the facility from March 22.

The foundation stone of the underpass was laid by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on December 24, 2019 and it was to be completed in a year’s time.

PWD officials said the deadline was first extended to March 2021, further pushed to June 30, 2021 and then to September 2021. It was again extended to December 2021 and then to March 2022.

PWD Chief Project Manager PK Parmar said the estimated cost of the project was around Rs 77.92 crore but only Rs 53 crore was spent on construction of the underpass while rest on shifting of utilities.

Kalkaji MLA Atishi and Jangpura MLA Praveen Kumar were also present at the inaugural ceremony.

Later in the day, the government issued a statement in which it said the opening of the underpass will clear Ashram’s age-old bottleneck and come as a huge relief for the public.

Sisodia said Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s vision is to provide hassle-free commuting and beautiful roads to the residents of Delhi.

“This underpass is an example of engineering excellence. It was a tough task for engineers to construct an underpass in a high volume traffic area which also involved shifting of various utilities.

“No shops or residential areas in the vicinity of the underpass were affected during the construction of this underpass,” Sisodia said in the statement.

Sisodia said this underpass will provide a major relief to 2-3 lakh commuters of Delhi everyday and will smoothen traffic in adjoining areas as well.

According to the statement, the underpass is 410 meters long and has been built at the cost of Rs 77.92 crores.

There will be a saving of about 933 working days daily by overcoming the congestion, it said.

This will further make traffic smooth in the adjoining areas like Bhogal, Jangpura, Nizzamuddin, New Friends Colony, Maharani Bagh and Lajpat Nagar.

The four lane underpass has two tanks of 1.5 lakh litre capacity to tackle waterlogging situation there.

“It has 40 meter box portion road hump design to prevent rain water from entering the road underpass. It is covered from above,” the statement added.

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