Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and union Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday inaugurated a six-lane elevated road that was to cost Rs.247 crore but ended up costing only Rs.143 crore.
Speaking on the occasion, Kejriwal gave due credit for the project to his predecessor and Congress leader Sheila Dikshit while Naidu of the BJP praised the Delhi government for completing the road on a reduced budget.
The 1.6-km road on the Ring Road connects Azadpur and Prembari Pul in north Delhi. It is expected to cut down commuting time as it will bypass three major intersections at Ashok Vihar, Shalimar Bagh and Keshav Puram.
Addressing the gathering, Kejriwal said: “The credit for this elevated road from Azadpur to Shalimar Bagh goes to Shiela Dikshit. The foundation stone was laid in June 2013 during Dikshit’s tenure.
“The sanctioned cost for the project was Rs.247 crore but it was completed at an actual cost of Rs.142 crore by Delhi’s PWD (Public Works Department).
“It is unbelievable,” Kejriwal went on. “This can happen only in an honest government.”
Naidu also praised Delhi government’s PWD for completing the project at a lesser cost.
“It is for the first time I came to know that a project of Rs.250 crore was completed in Rs.150 crore. I congratulate the Delhi government’s PWD department for this achievement,” Naidu said.
The project was delayed for months as it was pending before the National Green Tribunal, which did not give permission to cut trees.
The PWD had sought permission to cut around 1,200 trees but was permitted to fell around 700 trees.
Dikshit was Delhi’s chief minister for 15 long years before Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) ousted her government in December 2013, with Kejriwal himself defeating Dikshit. But Kejriwal resigned after just 49 days.
The AAP again took power in Delhi in February this year with a full majority.