Pol­i­tics mire project that lends a fu­tur­is­tic look to ITO

Hindustan Times (Delhi) - - HTMETRO - HT Cor­re­spon­dent htre­porters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

NEWDELHI: The city’s first sky­walk at the busy ITO in­ter­sec­tion is all set to open on Mon­day, spell­ing relief to thou­sands of pedes­tri­ans who oth­er­wise have to weave their way through traf­fic to reach their des­ti­na­tions.

The sky­walk, which has lend a fu­tur­is­tic look to the in­ter­sec­tion, will con­nect Sikan­dra Road, Mathura Road, Ti­lak Marg and Ba­hadur­shah Za­far Marg with Pra­gati Maidan, ITO Metro sta­tions and the Supreme Court. The de­sign of the fa­cil­ity is such that it will have space for ven­dors, a view­ing gallery and benches for pedes­tri­ans.

Ahead of its in­au­gu­ra­tion, a con­tro­versy is brew­ing with Delhi ur­ban de­vel­op­ment min­is­ter Satyen­dar Jain on Satur­day say­ing there was an “un­jus­ti­fied” and “un­rea­son­able” at­tempt to de­lay the project that was con­cep­tu­alised in 2006-07.

Jain’s re­ac­tion came a day af­ter re­ports that no one from the AAP govern­ment has been in­vited by the Union hous­ing and ur­ban af­fairs (HUA) min­istry to the sky­walk in­au­gu­ra­tion. The sky­walk was funded by the HUA min­istry and con­structed by the Delhi govern­ment’s pub­lic works depart­ment (PWD). It will be in­au­gu­rated on Mon­day by hous­ing and ur­ban af­fairs min­is­ter Hardeep Singh Puri.

Jain is­sued a fresh state­ment on Satur­day al­leg­ing bureau­cratic queries were raised about the “ne­ces­sity of the project”. “I con­sider it es­sen­tial to let the pub­lic know that this was an un­jus­ti­fied and un­rea­son­able at­tempt to de­lay the project, par­tic­u­larly even af­ter the Delhi Ur­ban Arts Com­mis­sion ap­proved the de­sign and ap­pre­ci­ated it by nom­i­nat­ing it for get­ting fi­nan­cial aid.”

While the event, or­gan­ised by the Cen­tre, would have Delhi lieu­tenant-gov­er­nor Anil Bai­jal and BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi in at­ten­dance, the ab­sence of any Delhi min­is­ter in the in­vi­tees has snow­balled. “We will be happy in case the Cen­tral govern­ment and its nom­i­nated rep­re­sen­ta­tives con­tinue with the in­au­gu­ra­tion cer­e­monies and al­low the Delhi govern­ment to work for pub­lic wel­fare without hin­drances,” Jain, who heads the PWD, said.

SONU ME­HTA/HT PHO­TOS

A view (left) of the area around ITO in­ter­sec­tion as seen from Ti­lak Marg Road in 2011. (Right) The area as seen on Satur­day. The sky­walk, which has al­tered the area over­view, will con­nect Sikan­dra Road, Mathura Road, Ti­lak Marg and Ba­hadur­shah Za­far Marg with Pra­gati Maidan and ITO Metro sta­tions and the Supreme Court.

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