Behind the muddle at Ashram: Construction of long-awaited underpass, extension of flyover till DND

Last month, Public Works Department (PWD) Minister Satyendar Jain said that work on the underpass was delayed due to the shifting of power cables and will be completed in two months.

Ongoing construction on two major infrastructure projects at Ashram has turned the area into a jumble of diversions, barricades, potholes and bumps.

Two major projects – construction of the much-awaited, and delayed, underpass leading to New Friends Colony, and the extension of the existing Ashram flyover to meet DND – has been underway for several months now.

Officials working on the project said that the potholes and bumps will soon be repaired.

Near the Ashram underpass, which is nearly complete and scheduledeld to open in a month, work on sewer lines is ongoing. Parts of the road have been dug up for work on a stormwater line. While residents say that the project will benefit them eventually, they say it is hard to go about their day due to the digging.

A man who owns a small restaurant at the corner said that the digging work leads to a lot of dust pollution. Long traffic jams have now become routine on this busy stretch. Every few minutes, an ambulance is among the hundreds of vehicles stuck in peak hour traffic. Since there is no separate lane for ambulances, they get stuck for long periods.

However, the new drainage system will benefit them in the long run, they said. Till earlier, their shops used to get flooded every monsoon. Once the underpass opens up, the traffic in these areas will be reduced significantly. Officials working on the project said that most of the work is completed.

Last month, Public Works Department (PWD) Minister Satyendar Jain said that work on the underpass was delayed due to the shifting of power cables and will be completed in two months. He had taken cognisance of the difficulties faced in the construction work.

The 750-metre long underpass on Mathura Road, along Ashram Chowk, is aimed at easing traffic at the Ashram intersection.

Meanwhile, work on the Ashram flyover extension has quickened too. However, officials said that it might get delayed from the scheduled date completion of December 31, 2021.

The extension project was expected to be completed by August 31. The earlier deadline of June 2021 had been extended due to labour shortage resulting from the lockdown this year.

While moving from Ashram to DND or vice versa, vehicles might find a few bumps too.

Since the construction areas are barricaded, the width of the road has decreased, thereby increasing the traffic at many points.

An official explained that at some points, new roads were made and some existing roads were widened. Because of heavy rains, which they did not anticipate in September, and heavy traffic load, potholes and bumps were created. At night, they work to fill the bumps but some are still present and new ones keep forming, officials said.

They said that most of the piling work is done and that work was slowed down due to permissions. A few trucks with water sprinkler systems are present at the site to reduce dust pollution.

Once completed, the six-lane flyover will connect DND to the existing Ashram flyover and serve as an important link between West, South, East Delhi and Noida.

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