- Much-awaited 750-metre long underpass at Ashram in south Delhi will be inaugurated on Apr 24
- Opening of the underpass will benefit lakhs of commuters, officials said
- The PWD had started the trial run of the facility from March 22
After missing nearly eight deadlines and a delay of over a year, the much-awaited 750-metre long underpass at the Ashram crossing in south Delhi will be inaugurated on April 24, a move that will benefit lakhs of commuters, officials said on Wednesday.
Barring some finishing touches, the Public Works Department (PWD) has finalised the construction work of the underpass, they said.
"The Ashram underpass will be inaugurated by the government on April 24. It is still unclear whether Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal or Deputy CM Manish Sisodia will inaugurate it but the facility will be completely thrown open for the public," a government official told PTI.
Last month Sisodia, who also holds the PWD portfolio, had said the facility will be opened for the 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. Currently the underpass remains closed during the night.
The underpass connects Bhogal with New Friends Colony on Mathura Road. Once opened, the commuters travelling to and from ITO and other parts of central Delhi will have a smooth ride through the busy Ashram crossing.
Officials said opening of the underpass will benefit lakhs of people daily. Ashram Chowk is an important link between central and south Delhi and also with Faridabad.
The junction connects the Mathura Road and the Ring Road (linking Lajpat Nagar-Sarai Kale Khan and the DND flyover).
According to data provided by the traffic police, around 2.5 lakh to 3 lakh vehicles cross the Ashram intersection every day during peak traffic hours.
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.
The estimated cost of the project is Rs 78 crore, officials said. However, he did not divulge the final cost incurred on the construction of the underpass.