<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The long-pending project to widen the stretch between south Delhi’s Andheria Mor and Mahipalpur to make it a smooth ride to the IGI airport is now going to take even longer.Four years after the work began on the project, under the Delhi government’s public works department (PWD), it may seem jinxed since, as it has again hit the same roadblock of acquiring permission for felling of trees on the way.In a status review of the project last week, the PWD has filed a fresh application to the forest department for felling of trees so that the work can pick up pace.The slow pace of work with uneven and dug up patches of road has been a hassle for commuters since work began on the first phase of the stretch in February 2013.The project had to be completed in three phases by mid 2016.”We have applied for a revalidation of permission to cut trees. The project has been under a number of litigations since it started. The forest department had granted permission to fell some trees but it lapsed, as the department didn’t initiate felling during that period. While there was no ‘stay’ on the work by the court, but the department waited for litigations to get over,” said a senior official.According to officials, the work has been pending, as even on the carriageway there are trees, which cause an obstruction to the movement of traffic.”The project is expected to pick up pace once we get the required clearances,” the official said.After work started on the first phase of the project in February 2013 — from Andheria Mor to Fortis Hospital, it landed into a number of litigations after the government’s contractor had felled several trees without prior approval of the forest department.The stretch which at present has four lanes will be widened to eight lanes, turning it into a fast link from south Delhi to IGI airport.A group of residents in the neighbouring Vasant Kunj had filed a case against the felling of trees in the National Green Tribunal (NGT) and later in the High Court while another group of residents had filed a plea against the widening of the road itself, as there are residential colonies on either sides of the road.The work was stalled in February 2013. It started again in 2014 but the contractor walked out in 2015.The PWD had to call for fresh tenders and the work resumed in August last year.
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