- AAP risked stalling Pragati Maidan tunnel project
- Pragati Maidan corridor project has been built at a cost of more than Rs 920 crore
- PM said central government will bear entire cost of the project
Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Sunday hit out at the Delhi government saying that it had refused to pay its 20 percent share in funds for the Pragati Maidan tunnel construction risking stalling the project which was aimed at easing lives of the people.
Goyal made these remarks at the inauguration ceremony of Delhi's first road tunnel underneath Pragati Maidan and five underpasses on Mathura Road and Bhairon Marg inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday morning.
"When the state government did not show any concern towards the project, the PM said that the central government will bear the entire cost of the project.
"So I give the credit of completing the project on time to the prime minister who keeps on thinking about easing the lives of the people," Goyal said amid a round of applause.
Addressing the gathering, Goyal said that initially, the project was to be executed jointly by the Centre and the Arvind Kejriwal government where the Delhi government had to pay 20 per cent and the Centre had to bear 80 per cent cost.
"Our ITPO (India Trade Promotion Organisation) officials were repeatedly writing and communicating with the state (for payment of their share of funds). But the state government (Delhi government) completely ignored saying we will not give money (for the project)," Goyal said.
He said that it was a pet project of the prime minister and they went to him and told him that the project, which aims to decongest the entire area of Ring Road and Bhairon Marg, will get stuck.
"When the state government did not show any concern towards the project, the PM said that the central government will bear the entire cost of the project. The ITPO paid the remaining 20 per cent money,"' he said.
Goyal also said that in 2017, nearly 1.14 lakh vehicles used to pass through the region and the number must have gone up by 2022.
He said that according to a 2022 estimate, the corridor is likely to bring down around 16,500 tons of carbondioxide emissions and help reduce pollution.
The Pragati Maidan Integrated Transit Corridor project has been built at a cost of more than Rs 920 crore and is entirely funded by the central government.
The integrated transit corridor will allow commuters travelling to India Gate and other central Delhi areas from east Delhi, Noida and Ghaziabad and vice-versa to ditch traffic snarls at ITO, Mathura Road and Bhairon Marg.
It also aims at providing hassle-free and smooth access to the new world-class exhibition and convention centre being developed at Pragati Maidan to facilitate easy participation of exhibitors and visitors in the programmes held there.