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Business News/ News / India/  Delhi news: Pragati Maidan tunnel unrepairable, needs total overhaul, says PWD
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Delhi news: Pragati Maidan tunnel unrepairable, needs total overhaul, says PWD

The Pragati Maidan tunnel was completed at a cost of ₹777 crore and was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in June 2022.

Water being removed from the Pragati Maidan tunnel after the recent heavy monsoon rains, in New Delhi, Tuesday, July 11, 2023.(PTI Photo/File) (PTI)Premium
Water being removed from the Pragati Maidan tunnel after the recent heavy monsoon rains, in New Delhi, Tuesday, July 11, 2023.(PTI Photo/File) (PTI)

The Pragati Maidan tunnel's completion delay and negligence in its maintenance led to large cracks in the structure, due to which it now requires a complete overhaul, The Hindu quoted a senior official at Delhi’s Public Works Department (PWD) as saying on 6 February.

The official said the tunnel is not safe for commuters at present and added it cannot be repaired without a major revamp. The Pragati Maidan tunnel was completed for 777 crore and was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in June 2022.

Aimed to ease connectivity between central Delhi with eastern parts of the city and satellite towns of Noida and Ghaziabad, the tunnel is 1.3 km long and has five underpasses linking it to the Integrated Transit Corridor Project.

ALSO READ: PM Narendra Modi inaugurates 920 cr Delhi's Pragati Maidan corridor project

In 2023, the tunnel witnessed multiple closures due to waterlogging.

The tunnel was flooded whenever the city received moderate to high rainfall, said another official.

“While all underground tunnels develop minor leakages, this particular tunnel was not repaired by the maintaining authority (L&T) despite multiple communications to the company in the past two months," The Hindu quoted the official as saying.

The PWD issued a show-cause notice to Larsen and Toubro on 3 February and asked it to deposit a “minimum token amount of 500 crore". Also, the PWD asked L&T to initiate repair work besides rectifying its defective design.

The PWD, in its notice, also said the firm failed to complete the construction of the tunnel on time. Though the project tender was floated in 2017 and was expected to be complete by 2019, it was inaugurated in 2022.

"These concessions in the timeline were provided to the company subject to the understanding that the quality of the construction work would not be compromised," the PWD said.

The government body now says the maximum damage to the tunnel was caused due to defects in the design of Underpass No.5 near Bhairon Marg.

In the notice, the PWD asked L&T to respond by February 18 as to why action should not be taken against it for financial and reputational losses.

The company is liable under civil as well as criminal laws for evading responsibility of repairing and maintaining a construction that was agreed upon to by the organization to have a design life of 100 years or more, said the report citing PWD notice.

However, the company's spokesperson said L&T L&T would like to state that a counterclaim of 500 crore has been filed by the company against the PWD.

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Published: 07 Feb 2024, 04:46 PM IST
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