ITO Skywalk AAP govt vs Centre row: Rs 54 cr spent! Who gets credit? The jury is still out
ITO Skywalk: The Kejriwal government has claimed that the Skywalk was built by the AAP government and it had contributed its share of the funds for the project. However, the Centre has rejected the claim.
There is a lot of hue and cry over the inauguration of ITO Skywalk. Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri will be inaugurating the 'state-of-the-art' Skywalk today. According to some reports, no Delhi government minister will be present during the inauguration. CM Arvind Kejriwal had taken a dig at the Centre quoting one such report. He said that the Delhi government only wants to work for the public and the Centre can inaugurate the project. He indicated that the Skywalk was built by the Delhi government and it had contributed its share of the funds for the project.
However, Puri claimed that the Rs 54-crore project was totally funded by the Centre.
Here are the two contrasting claims related to the funding of the project:
Delhi Government's Claim:
Delhi PWD Minister Satyendar Jain said that Public Works Department teams had worked day and night to complete the first of its kind project (ITO Skywalk) and successfully overcame all hurdles in the execution of this project.
He claimed that the idea for the construction of a flyover at ITO along with a Foot OVer Bridge was conceived in 2006-07.
"In accordance with the funding agreement, Delhi government was to provide around Rs 12 crore fund for the project out of the total estimated cost of around Rs 54 crore...Dy CM Manish Sisodia who was also heading Expenditure Finance Committee (EFC), which gave its approval for providing the Delhi government share for the Skywalk project," he said on October 13.
Delhi PWD Minister Mr Satyendar Jain issued the following statement on Saturday on the completion of construction and fitting/decoration work of the Skywalk & Foot Over Bridge at ITO : pic.twitter.com/PkUmAYu283
— AAP (@AamAadmiParty) October 13, 2018
Centre's Official Statement:
The Centre said that Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs had approved five major mobility projects worth Rs 1826.40 crores for the benefit of Delhi citizens.
The Ministry of HUA sanctioned six projects in 2016 in which the Delhi government had to contribute 20%. However, because there was no cooperation forthcoming from the Delhi government, it was decided in October 2017 that one of the projects related to ISBT flyover on Ring Road will be done fully by Delhi government and the other five will be funded by the Ministry and DDA.
On the other hand, MoS (IC) Housing and Urban Affairs, Hardeep Singh Puri has pushed five projects vigorously for implementation.
First, among them, the skywalk at ITO for which Puri laid the foundation stone on November 09, 2017, is going to be inaugurated by him and Lt Gov of Delhi on October 15, 2018. Even though the project is being executed by PWD, this Rs 54 crore project has been funded by the Ministry of HUA. The project will provide world-class, safe, nature-friendly connectivity at a very busy traffic intersection point at ITO.
I am inaugurating Skywalk at ITO on 15th Oct & the Rani Jhansi Road Grade Separator on 16th Oct, alongwith Hon'ble @LtGovDelhi. Both these projects will provide great ease in mobility to citizens of Delhi. (9/12) pic.twitter.com/uEmjU919FP
— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) October 14, 2018
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Claim and Counter Claim:
While the Delhi government claimed that it had released its shares of the fund, the Centre has denied the same. Though it isn't clear whose claim is correct, one thing is clear for sure that Delhi is getting a world-class facility which will ease the congestion at the ITO.