Delhi’s longest Foot Over Bridge (FOB) “skywalk” project for decongesting the busy ITO intersection and preventing jaywalking by pedestrians is expected be a reality by 2018 end. The 570-metre-long FOB is going to be 50 per cent open sky giving pedestrians a feel of walking not only in the sky but also connecting them to the historic building of the Supreme Court, Archaeological Survey of India, Pragati Maidan besides making risk-free commuting for people shuttling between office buildings. The Delhi Government’s Public Works Department (PWD) Minister Satyendar Jain had on July 23 announced initiation of the tender process for the ambitious project worth Rs 54.84 crore.
“The tender process had begun last month. While it is at the scrutiny stage right now, we are expecting it to go to a contractor in the next one-and-a-half months. It will take at least two-and-a-half months to begin the construction, during which the Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) contracting will carry out the detailed engineering design of the project, procure all the equipment and materials necessary, and take the approval from us to start the construction,” Public Works Department’s Superintending Engineer GP Bansal told The Pioneer.
“It will take just a year in completing the project as the Government is very keen on it. So technically, the project should start by this December and be completed by end of next year.”
“The skywalk was conceptualised to make it easier for the people to reach the connecting roads at Tilak Marg, Pragati Maidan, ITO and Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg without facing the traffic congestion,” said another PWD official.
For the first time, the solar panel lighting system with lEDs will be used across the FOB. So the skywalk is going to be “well lit” to give a good security sense to pedestrians. However, the traffic experts believe that unless, the skywalk is facilitated with a “travellers”, “escalators” and “transparent walkway”, the facility would not serve the purpose.
“Its objective is to ensure continuous uninterrupted safe movement but over a period of time, researchers have noted that people give up taking such facility due to long distance walk. In Japan, similar skywalks are successful because of travellers which give passengers an easy automatic walkway with luggage. This is something the authorities must include in it,” said Seva Ram, a traffic expert.