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PM to inaugurate Delhi's Pragati Maidan tunnel, 5 underpasses on June 19

PM to inaugurate Delhi's Pragati Maidan tunnel, 5 underpasses on June 19

The Pragati Maidan Integrated Transit Corridor project has been built at a cost of more than Rs 920 crore and funded entirely by the central government, the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said in a statement.

PM to inaugurate Delhi's Pragati Maidan tunnel, 5 underpasses on June 19 (Photo: Reuters) PM to inaugurate Delhi's Pragati Maidan tunnel, 5 underpasses on June 19 (Photo: Reuters)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the main tunnel and five other underpasses part of the Pragati Maidan Integrated Transit Corridor project here on June 19, officials said on Friday.

The inauguration of the 1.6-km-long tunnel, which will be Delhi's first, will allow commuters travelling to India Gate and other central Delhi areas from east Delhi, Noida and Ghaziabad to ditch traffic snarls at ITO, Mathura Road and Bhairon Marg.

The Pragati Maidan Integrated Transit Corridor project has been built at a cost of more than Rs 920 crore and funded entirely by the central government, the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said in a statement.

It is aimed at providing hassle-free and smooth access to the new world-class exhibition and convention centre being developed at Pragati Maidan, thereby facilitating easy participation of exhibitors and visitors in the programmes being held at Pragati Maidan, it said.

Public Works Department (PWD) officials said that once the tunnel is operational, motorists travelling from Noida, Ghaziabad and east Delhi areas will have signal-free access to India Gate, Supreme Court, Mathura Road and vice-versa.

The tunnel starts near the National Sports Complex of India (NSCI) at the Purana Qila Road and passes underneath the redeveloped Pragati Maidan to culminate at the Ring Road near the Pragati Power station.

"It will be Delhi's first tunnel in which traffic will move. It is equipped with the latest technologies such as a digital control room with the facility of a public announcement system inside the tunnel.

"To allay fears of waterlogging, we have constructed seven underground sumps to collect and drain storm water automatically," a PWD official told PTI requesting anonymity.

The construction work of the tunnel was started in March 2018 and was scheduled to be completed by September 2019. This deadline was extended to June 2020 due to the complexities involved in the construction work.

The deadline was later pushed to December 2020 due to the COVID-19 lockdown and further extended to March 2022.

Officials said that the delay was caused due to the lockdown and restrictions on construction activities due to increased pollution levels in the city.

This will be the PWD's second big road infrastructure project that will be thrown open to the public this year.

In April, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had inaugurated the underpass at the Ashram intersection in south Delhi.

Another PWD official said that the tunnel will be under strict surveillance with nearly 100 CCTV cameras installed inside.

"We have also made arrangements for proper ventilation in the tunnel. Specially designed German-made large exhaust fans have been installed for ventilation purposes," the official said.

The official added that other than easing traffic movement in the ITO area, the tunnel and underpasses will also improve connectivity to the newly redeveloped Pragati Maidan.

Dedicated entry and exit points have been provided for Pragati Maidan from the tunnel and the underpasses on Bhairon Marg.

Officials said murals showcasing the Indian culture, birds and six seasons in different parts of the country from Kashmir to Kanyakumari will adorn the tunnel.

Commuters welcomed the announcement.

"Opening of the tunnel and underpasses will streamline traffic bottlenecks at ITO and its surrounding areas. The project will save time and money for commuters and also reduce pollution," said Vishwas Dass, a resident of Noida.