NEW DELHI: After missing several deadlines, the 1.2 km long underpass on Benito Juarez Marg was thrown open to the public. The Y-shaped modern underpass was officially inaugurated by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Saturday.
The underpass will benefit commuters traveling between Delhi and Gurugram bypassing traffic bottlenecks and saving time. Built at the cost of Rs 143.8 crore, the underpass starts from the DurgaBai Deshmukh South Campus metro station and connects with the South Campus to AIIMS and Moti Bagh. Commuters traveling to AIIMS, Chanakyapuri, Yashwant Place from the airport, and Gurugram will now be able to bypass traffic bottlenecks at the Outer Ring Road, Dhaula Kuan, and Rao Tula Ram Marg by using this facility, officials said.
The underpass saw the light of the day after missing eight deadlines. The project was first proposed in 2013 but got initiated two years after in 2015. Officials said that the underpass project was delayed due to several reasons including guideline revisions, shortage of labor, the complexity of work, shifting of utilities, Covid-19-induced lockdowns, and a ban on construction activities.
The minister said, “The underpass is a marvel of engineering and will help us provide a pleasant and safer travel experience to the commuters. It is one of the first underpasses in Delhi which has been built in Y-shape.” He added, “Dhaula Kuan, the road leading to the airport, and Sardar Patel Marg witness huge traffic snarls during peak hours and this underpass will help solve the issue. Lakhs of commuters between Delhi and Gurugram will no longer have to deal with traffic jams on a daily basis.”
He added that for the commuters who take the route daily, there will be a reduction in fuel consumption by 2,181 liters daily on average, which is a huge thing. This will not only save fuel but will also spare locals from inhaling the pollutants.
He added that as per a study, 5 tonnes of carbon emission will be reduced because of the underpass. The cut down on fuel and gas will further lead to huge savings for the commuters. As per an estimate, the project will help save Rs 18 crores annually. An individual commuter will be able to save money in the range of Rs 100-Rs 5000. Besides, as part of the project, a 670-meter skywalk connecting the two parts of the underpass on San Martín road and the Benito Juárez route has also been built.