In a free-wheeling interview with The Sunday ET, Goyal, who took over the helm of the ITPO in 2015, recalled the challenges he faced while building the Integrated Transit Corridor and discussed the reasons for the delay in the completion of India’s G-20 site at Pragati Maidan.
The tunnel, opened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 19, was built by Larsen & Tourbo and has unique features including artwork depicting the six seasons through various elements like the sun, moon, nakshatras , the zodiac, symbols, rituals, dances and festivals.
“As part of the Pragati Maidan redevelopment project, the initial scope of the transit corridor was 78 crores, but with PM Modi’s vision of transforming urban infrastructure in Delhi and making life easier for the citizens, the scope has grown. been extended 12 times to Rs 923. crores. The artwork is by Professor Him Chatterjee of Himachal University. This tunnel helps reduce CO2 emissions by the same measures that would have required the planting of nearly 6 lakh of trees. Additionally, we planted 16,500 trees as part of the project,” Goyal explained.
The challenges, Goyal says, were “multiple” but the project “decongested” traffic despite the project location being “busy, difficult and sensitive”. “Being built on the bed of the Yamuna River, where the water level is only 3 meters, the alignment of the tunnel had to be done under an exhibition hall and 7 busy railway tracks. A number utilities like BSES cables, DJB sewer lines had to be relocated which required a lot of coordination but we managed to overcome all these challenges with patience, perseverance and strategy,” Goyal added.
“ Back to recommendation stories
Regarding the delay in the G-20 venue, an IAS senior officer from Kerala said this was partly due to the Covid-19 construction ban during Delhi winters and considering the gigantic size of the project measuring 4.2 million squares of built-up area. “We have carried out regular reviews and the project is now on track. We expect it to be completed for trial by October this year.” India will host the G-20 summit in September-October 2023. On Sunday, the tunnel will be closed to traffic but open to pedestrians to enjoy the artworks inside
“The tunnel will benefit from traffic of 114,000 vehicles per day in the 1st year of operation and the average travel time savings will be around 8 minutes per vehicle. This is one of the tunnels the longest and widest below seven rapid railway lines.” Goyal said. On the possibility of waterlogging in the tunnel, the ITPO chief said that the tunnel has seven underground sumps to collect and drain water entering the tunnel. “They are equipped with drainage pumping sensors to ensure automatic operation. It has an intelligent lighting concept that allows it to avoid the blinding effect of sunlight when entering the tunnel” , did he declare. “In fact, one of the exhibition halls is built above the tunnel slab, so some tunnel columns support a vertical load of about 3,000 tons.”