5 years in the making, Mahavir Chk skywalk is likely to be ready in Jan

  • | Tuesday | 12th December, 2023

Gurgaon: Delay in the construction of a skywalk at the busy Mahavir Chowk has become a major cause for concern for pedestrians, who are forced to navigate through a sea of vehicles here. Officials from the public works department (PWD) said 70% work on the elevated walkway has been completed so far, and the remaining is likely to be finished by January 2024.PWD attributed the delay to a change in the design of the project. We had to make several modifications in the original design plan due to obstructions in the alignment of the skywalk. A delay in demarcation after the removal of an encroached boundary wall further impeded progress of the work. We had to change the design of a pillar to avoid contact with a nearby dispensary, an official said.Provisions of additional pillars had to be made as a transformer near the bus stand couldnt be shifted, the official added. In addition to this, several electric cables, a gas pipeline and optical fibres were coming in the alignment of the walkway. It took time to shift them as several departments were involved. We had to redesign the structure where shifting was not possible. Besides, the annual ban on construction activities affected work, the official further said.The skywalk is a part of the Mahavir Chowk redevelopment project, which was ap-proved in April 2018 to improve the mobility of traffic and pedestrians at this crucial junction. It is being executed by PWD on behalf of GMDA at a total cost of Rs 25.9 crore. The skywalk will have three lifts and will have access from four sides — including MG Road, Old Delhi-Gurgaon Road, bus stand road and Sadar Bazar.Under the project, an underpass, service roads and skywalk were planned, and work was allotted in 2019 with a deadline of July 2021. But it started only in January 2020 due to initial hiccups such as bureaucratic delays and ban on construction activities. The project missed several deadlines. The 318m underpass was finally made operational in November 2022. Meanwhile, construction of 2.1km service roads is almost complete. Several arterial roads converge at Mahavir Chowk, including Old Delhi-Gurgaon Road, bus stand road, Mehrauli-Gurgaon road, New Railway road and two roads leading towards NH-8. Police Lines, a government school, Civil Hospital, the Haryana Tourism guesthouse and Zila Sainik Board office are located in the vicinity, leading to the heavy movement of traffic, both vehicular and pedestrians. Meanwhile, commuters are facing daily struggles while crossing this junction. Ramesh Kumar, a pedestrian, said: There is complete chaos at this chowk with so much traffic, parked autos, buses and street vendors. The authorities have failed to prioritise pedestrian safety. In the absence of any facilities for pedestrians, people are forced to walk on the road, facing a risk of accidents.Bhupendra Yadav, who runs a shop near the junction, said, There has hardly been any progress in the project in the past few months. Even the construction of the underpass hasnt provided much relief when it comes to reducing traffic congestion here.

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