New Delhi: Fund crunch has hit the national capital’s dream project — the Signature Bridge in Wazirabad — which is unlikely to see the light of day this year. Officials said that the project has been hanging, as the requisite funds have not been sanctioned to complete the project.
Officials said that even if the funds are sanctioned immediately, it will take another eight months to complete the construction work of the bridge, which will connect northern and eastern parts of the capital. The delays have escalated the estimated cost of the project from Rs 887 crore to Rs 1,594 crore.
According to sources, Delhi Tourism and Transport Development Corporation (DTTDC), which is implementing the project, had sent the revised estimates of Rs 1,594 crore to the government last year. They said that the Public Works Department had sanctioned Rs 1,494 crore for the project, but the DTTDC had refused the amount, saying that the department will be unable to complete the project with the funds allocated. Since then, the file has been lying with the PWD. Significantly, newly-appointed tourism minister Rajender Pal Gautam has inspected the project twice and has also shot a letter to chief secretary M.M. Kutty to expedite the project.
Sources said that the bridge, constructed on the lines of the famous London Bridge, was proposed for the first time as early as 1997, with an initial cost pegged at Rs 459 crore. Over the years, the initial cost of the project rose to Rs 1,594 crore (in 2015) which, according to sources, is a significant reason behind the government’s decision not to scrap it.