PWD's assurance in HC, Signature Bridge will be ready by Oct 31, 2018
Construction of the project — which the Delhi government proposed as a tourist attraction that seeks to connect the northern and eastern extremities of the Capital and has been under construction for over a decade — is now faced with budgetary constraints that are bound to push its completion date beyond December 2017. Tourist attraction “We have prepared a revised note requesting additional funds, approximately over ?100 crore, to keep construction under way on the project, which is in its final stage of completion, but will still require around eight to nine more months of work for the finance department, which will now put it up for consideration by the Cabinet,” said a senior Public Works Department official. According to an official, ?20 crore is expended on construction of the almost ?1,600-crore project — with its steel towers planned to be double the height of Qutub Minar and proposed waterfront development, which successive governments including the AAP intend to build into a tourist attraction — each month. Apart from connecting the north-east part of the Capital to outer Delhi, the bridge will be a gateway to the Tronica City in adjacent Ghaziabad, which is being developed on the lines of sub-cities like Indirapuram and Kaushambi. Rising costs According to the government, the Signature Bridge had obtained environmental clearance in 2011 and was set to be completed by December 2013. The date of completion was pushed to June 2016 and then to July 2017, which was further pushed to December 2017, and now expected to be delayed further. According to sources, the bridge was proposed for the first time as early as 1997, with initial cost pegged at ?464 crore. Announced in 2004, the project received a nod from the Delhi Cabinet in 2007 and was initially expected to be completed at a modified estimate of ?1,131 crore by the Commonwealth Games that was held in the Capital in October 2010. Over the years, the initial cost of the project rose to ?1,594 crore (in 2015), which, according to sources, is a significant reason behind the government’s decision not to scrap it.