Politics mire project that lends a futuristic look to ITO
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.
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.