CP delay prompted EIL to shelve contracts: NDMC chairperson

It all started with the renovation of one model block in Connaught Place in 2007. The massive project of giving a facelift to this commercial hub, which was once — and is still — a coveted address in Luytens' Delhi, seems to be a never-ending one.

After six years of work, all that the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) has to show are dug-up spaces, exposed electric cables and pipelines, stained facades and chaos and congestion in general.

Presenting the NDMC budget on Monday, chairperson Archana Arora said the focus of the civic agency was on completing the project as soon as possible and that they were not thinking about an inquiry into the delay.

"Let us first finish the work, then we will think if it (an inquiry) is needed. At this point of time, we want to complete the project," she said when asked by reporters if the NDMC aims to launch an inquiry to determine blame and lapses for the delay.

The agency had earlier set December 2012 as the deadline to complete the project. However, that too could not be met. Now it has been revised to March 2013. This is the seventh revised deadline for the project.

The CP plan also saw several revisions, including slashing of the budget and the shelving of an underground parking and subway project.

"Earlier, our project costs were Rs 674 crore but, over time, some plans were changed and now the budget stands at Rs 400 crore. Till now, Rs 296 crore has been spent," Arora said.

She said the NDMC had raised objections with the Engineers India Limited (EIL), the consultant of the project, about the delays.

The chairperson said EIL had shelved contracts with several contractors who were responsible for lapses.projects in pipeline.

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