Rs 10 Crores. How many fans could have been provided in MCD schools?
How many toilets for children?
‘Useless’ Games FOBs to cost 10 crore
Not Needed Now But PWD Has Made 70% Of Payment For Projects Near JLN Stadium
Indrani Basu TNN
New Delhi: PWD is building two foot overbridges near Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium which are costing the exchequer Rs 10.34 crore but will serve almost no purpose. But the public works department is still going ahead with both as “70% of the payment has been already made” for these Commonwealth Games projects.
One of the two FoBs, coming up in front of the gate number 4 of the stadium, had collapsed two years ago, leaving the Delhi government redfaced. Traffic police, however, said there were now very few pedestrians who crossed at these two points and the FOBs would serve little purpose as the Games were over. Government sources also confirmed it.
“The matter had come up in a working committee meeting and later at a UTTIPEC governing body meeting where concerns were raised that the FOBs are not required. However, PWD officials claimed that 70% of the payment had been made, and the money could not be recovered so the FOBs should be allowed to be built,” said a senior government official.
One of the FOBs will be built near the gate number 4 of the stadium where the Barapullah elevated road currently ends. The construction of the deck of the second FOB — near the end of the Bhishma Pitamah flyover near Fourth Avenue Road — was begun on Friday night. Both FOBs are expected to be completed by October-end. Portions of the FOBs have been imported from France, said PWD officials.
The FOBs were to be used during the opening and closing ceremonies of the Games, when the stadium was expected to be filled to its capacity of 70,000-80,000 people. “At that time, players were supposed to use the FOBs after getting off the Games buses at the parking opposite the gate number 4. Spectators using the park-andride scheme at the Safdarjung parking and walking to the stadium would have also taken these,” said a senior traffic police officer of the area.
“Lodhi Road was then out of bounds for general traffic as only VIP movement was allowed on the stretch during the Games ceremonies. Hence, there was high pedestrian usage. Now, people can just get off next to the stadium entrances,” he added.
The FOB near gate number 4is of no use to the nearby residents of the Sewa Nagar railway colony as there is a high boundary wall running along the entire length of the colony that cuts access to the FOB. Further, buses use the parking only as a depot and don’t operate out of it, said officials.
The second FOB has the railway colony on one side and the Lodhi Colony on the other. While there is an opening at Lodhi Colony for residents to access underconstruction FOB, this is not the case for the railway colony residents. Currently only one bus uses this stretch to go to AIIMS but even that service is not frequent.
PWD, however, defended its action, claiming that it will be of use to residents and those coming to the stadium. “When there is a game at the stadium, the FOB near gate number 4 will be used. Nearby colony residents can use both the FOBs as well,” said PWD director (works) Deepak Panwar.