There is new hope that work on the Signature Bridge in the national capital will pick up pace now, after the Delhi government on Monday released Rs 100 crore for the project.
The project could not take off for a decade and recently hit another roadblock when the contractor announced a ‘fund crunch’ delaying construction work. Having missed several deadlines over the years, the project is now expected to be completed by December 31, 2017.
Delhi Tourism Minister Rajendra Pal Gautum, after releasing the funds, tweeted, “Delhiites congratulations….Rs 100 crores released for Signature Bridge…hope now it will be open to public soon…”
Gautum, who has newly taken charge as the tourism and water minister in the AAP government, had visited the Wazirabad-located bridge on May 24 when he was told by the contractor that the work is delayed, as the cost had increased during the years and there was a ‘shortage of funds’.
The contractor had asked the Delhi government to release Rs 250 crore and a time period of eight months to complete the project.
The ambitious Delhi government project located in Wazirabad to connect the north and east Delhi has not seen the light of the day. Being constructed under the Delhi Tourism department, the bridge — besides improving connectivity — will also emerge as a major tourist spot.
The Rs 1,500 crore project was proposed by the Sheila Dikshit government in 2004 and received a nod to start work in 2007. Initially, it was to be ready for the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
The initial cost was pegged at Rs 887 crore, which later escalated to Rs 1,131 crore in 2010 and to Rs 1,594 crore in 2015. Now, the cost has further escalated by Rs 456 crore.