'Inordinate delay in project completion shoots up cost'

Inordinate delay in completion of Jehangir Chowk–Rambagh flyover has resulted in escalation of the project cost.

Official documents accessed through RTI revealed that the deadline for completion of the project was in 2016. The original project cost was 200.74 crore.

“Now, the expected date of completion of the project is 31 May 2019, subject to the condition that the weather/law and order shall remain satisfactorily,” the RTI reply said, adding the project cost has gone up to Rs 331.0 crore.

The information was provided by the Economic Reconstruction Agency (ERA) in response to an RTI filed by activist MM Shuja.

The 31 May is the latest deadline that the ERA has fixed for the completion of the project. It has already missed many deadlines which has led to the cost escalation of the project.

An ERA official, however, said the cost escalation was not because of the delay in completion of the project. “The estimated cost of Rs 200 crore was only calculated for construction of flyover, and then we had made two complexes for rehabilitation of shopkeepers who were getting affected with the project. Approximately Rs 100 crore was spent on the two complexes,” the official associated with the project said.

The flyover, which was announced in July 2009, in its initial phase, hit many roadblocks including litigations by traders and hurdles in land acquisition.

The Asian Development Bank-funded project is being executed by ERA, with an aim to decongest traffic on the busy Airport-Jehangir Chowk road.

The flyover was announced in July 2009 and was initially scheduled for completion by 2012. But the work on it actually started in September 2013.

The project was scheduled to be completed within three years with September 2016 set as the deadline. However, the deadline was revised to March 2017 following the 2014 floods.