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1971: Delhi’s first flyover
North corporation mayor Jai Prakash said the Shadipur project was built by the erstwhile unified Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and the project was completed on February 14, 1971. He credited veteran leader Vijay Kumar Malhotra for taking charge of the initiative in 1971 when he was the chief executive councillor of the city, a post which, under the old Delhi metropolitan council structure, is equivalent to the post of chief minister today. .
A senior corporation official said that the Shadipur flyover improved the lives of people living in and commuting towards Moti Nagar, Karampura, Ramesh Nagar, Raja Garden and nearby places. This had led to widespread acceptance of flyovers as decongestion infrastructure in the city. “At that time, the roads that are wider than 60 feet were also looked after by the corporation and they were transferred to PWD at a very later stage. The railway line at Shadipur was a great problem for people as traffic remained disrupted for hours,” an official said.
As in 2019
4 Other Busy Overpasses Being Revamped, 2 Of Them Nearly 60 Years Old
For the first time after their construction, repairs are being carried out on five busy flyovers by Public Works Department. An inspection of the flyovers — two of which were constructed before 1961 — by the Central Road Research Institute pinpointed cracks that had developed, general disrepair and technical faults that required looking into.
PWD officials said the repair work is being conducted “strategically” because the flyovers at ITO, Sarai Kale Khan, Raja Garden and the two pre-1961 ones at Shreshtha Vihar and Old Wazirabad are busy throughout the day. The situation at Raja Garden was especially troublesome because of lack of diversion options. The repairs are, therefore, done between 11pm and 6am there. Once the work halts at 6am, metal slabs are installed in the gaps to allow passage of traffic.
PWD officials said that these five flyovers were the first to be visually inspected by CRRI, given their age and the high volume of traffic they conducted. After these are restored, the Naraina flyover will be repaired. The ones that will be assessed next are the flyovers on Zakir Hussain Marg near the Oberoi hotel, Chirag Delhi, Lodhi Road and Kashmere Gate. The Union ministry of road transport and highways will examine the quality of concrete, check the base of the structure, its strength and whether it has developed cracks.
A systematic check of the city’s flyovers began last year after problems were reported on the Lajpat Nagar flyover. PWD carried out a visual inspection of several flyovers and then roped in CRRI to inspect the others in detail.
According to officials privy to the plan, the Indraprastha flyover had weak railings and will get replacement ones at a cost of Rs 1.5 crore. For a similar outlay, the problems of gaps in the expansion joints, ball bearing and external prestressing will be managed. The Shreshtha Vihar flyover, the oldest of the lot constructed in 1955, was the most damaged and required immediate attention. “The repairs here are not limited to just a couple of things. The entire structure demands restoration,” said a PWD source.
When TOI visited the Indraprastha flyover, there were big gaps where the railings on the carriageway going towards Sarai Kale Khan had been dismantled, with only a caution tape warning of the remedial work going on. The project here, a senior PWD official said, will be completed in the next two months. Railings along the other carriageway will be repaired once the current work is completed.
There are over 100 flyovers in Delhi, of which around 35 have been erected over the past 35 years. These, according to official, are the last on the priority list as far as inspection is concerned. However, an official admitted that inspection did not automatically lead to revamps. Once the structural problems are identified by the authorities concerned, in this case CRRI or the road ministry, getting to the point where the repair work begins takes a long time, sometimes even up to a year.