Delhi HC unhappy over MCD’s slow pace of building bridge

Delhi HC unhappy over MCD's slow pace of building bridge
Delhi HC unhappy over MCD’s slow pace of building bridge

The slow pace of construction of a bridge here, which is yet to be completed by the MCD after it began in 2008, prompted the Delhi High Court to retort that even a child admitted in nursery that year would finish schooling before the structure could be built.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar made the observation while noting that the work was still at the stage of awarding of contract for building a foot-over bridge (FoB) and an underpass on a railway crossing, despite the inauguration of the West Delhi project.

“It is very painful as a citizen of the country and also as of this city. Why don’t you admit that you are not capable to do the work? It’s simply a bridge,” the bench said, adding that “it is not a 10-year plan of the government”.

“A child who was four years old at the beginning of the construction of a bridge here is now about to finish his schooling but the work is yet to start,” it further said.

The sharp observations came when the high court bench was informed that the BJP-run Municipal Corporation of Delhi was yet to complete the construction of an FoB and an underpass on a railway crossing, at Nangloi and Sultanpuri, respectively, in West Delhi.

“How do we make you do your duty? Whom do you listen to? The CBI or the vigilance? It is a simple foot over bridge over a railway track, the construction work of which was to begin in 2009.

“It is just an over bridge over a railway line. This is 21st century India. You started it in 2009 and now want to complete it in 2019,” it noted and asked why the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) should not hand over the contract to Delhi Metro.

The contract for construction of the bridge was given on September 3, 2009, but despite passage of eight years, the matter is still at the stage of awarding the contract, the court observed, adding, via its May 11 order it had called upon the NDMC to place the timeline of completion of the project and escalation in the cost of work since it was conceptualised.

After cancelling the contract in 2015, a new contract has not been finalised while the cost of the work has risen from Rs 38.97 crore in 2010 to Rs 56.82 crore in 2017. Neither delay in completion nor escalation of amount can be tolerated, the court said.

“Let the last order and this one be given to the ministry of transport for intervention and examination of the matter, so that the same can be taken up expeditiously,” it said.

The court has now fixed the matter for further hearing on October 16.

The court was hearing a PIL, filed by a Delhi-based activist Sandeep Kumar, alleging that delay in construction of a railway FoB and underpass at Nangloi and Sultanpuri in West Delhi was creating problems for commuters and residents of the area.

The projects were undertaken as the railway crossings in these areas were unmanned and had led to many fatal accidents in the past.

( Source – PTI )

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