Amid war for credit, Delhi's Signature Bridge opens for public today

Signature Bridge over the Yamuna river is double the height of Qutub Minar and has been delayed over 14 years.

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Updated: Nov 05, 2018, 06:54 AM IST

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NEW DELHI: Delhi‘s landmark – Signature Bridge – which was inaugurated by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal amid high drama and political slugfest over taking credit, will be opened for the general public on Monday.

Delhi Congress President Ajay Maken had attacked the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government for taking credit in bringing infrastructural developments which were started by his party.

“Congress conceptualised and built the Signature Bridge. AAP government first delayed the project – now taking the credit. Kejriwal should have respectfully invited Sheila Dikshit and J.P Agarwal – as they were the real architects of this project,” Maken told the media. 

Meanwhile, Delhi BJP unit chief Manoj Tiwari, who entered into a scuffle with AAP members during the inauguration of ‘Signature Bridge‘ here, Sunday alleged that an AAP MLA threatened to shoot him. 

He alleged that a few policemen also misbehaved with him. 

“The policemen who entered into a scuffle with me have been identified. The additional DCP-I of this area is saying that some AAP volunteers were injured. I will show them what police is in just four days,” an agitated Tiwari said.

The BJP leader and his supporters had reached the venue of the inaugural function. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his deputy were not present when the protest took place.

Tiwari had expressed displeasure over not being invited to the function and took a dig at the Kejriwal government, saying he would be present at the bridge to welcome the chief minister. 

In a party statement, the BJP said, “AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan attacked the Delhi BJP president at the instance of Kejriwal”. 

Khan, however, denied the charges. 

Signature Bridge – All You Need To Know

Signature Bridge over the Yamuna river is double the height of Qutub Minar and has been delayed over 14 years.

The new landmark connects the Wazirabad across the river Yamuna to the inner city and will reduce the travel time between north and northeast Delhi.

Inaugurating the bridge with a 154-metre pylon, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia said that it will be a centre of attraction among local and international tourists who come to Delhi to visit historical monuments and buildings like India Gate and Qutub Minar.

The bridge will be a big relief to a huge number of commuters who were earlier stuck up in long traffic jams over a narrow bridge in Wazirabad area.

The Western and Eastern approaches to the bridge will connect the nearby areas like Timarpur, Nehru Vihar, Wazirabad, Aruna Nagar, Mukherjee Nagar on Ring Road to Bhajanpura on Mangal Pandey Marg.
 
The bridge will reduce the commuting time between northeast areas and the inner city from 45 minutes to just 10 minutes, saving the pollution and fuel, a government statement said.

The boomerang-shaped pylon consists of two inclined columns, which are rigidly connected to the driving lanes and bend mid-way. 

The upper portion of the pylon anchors the backstay cables as well as the main-span cables, arranged in a harp-like manner, the statement said.
 
The pylon from a distance looks like hands folded in a greeting posture. Its top is created by a 22-metre high steel-glass structure, which will provide a panoramic view of Delhi.

Visitors will be taken in four elevators with a total capacity of carrying 50 people to a 154-metre-high glass box on the top of the bridge to provide them a bird‘s-eye view of the city, the statement said.

Announced in 2004, the bridge missed several deadlines since 2011. 

The proposal for the bridge, mooted in 2004, received approval of the Delhi Cabinet in 2007. It was initially expected to be completed at a modified estimate of Rs 1,131 crore for the Commonwealth Games, held in Delhi in October 2010.

In 2015, the cost of the project rose to Rs 1,594 crore. 

Sisodia claimed that the actual work on the bridge started when AAP came to power in 2015 although the idea of it was conceived way back in 1997 by the then Chief Minister Sahib Singh Verma.

He also said that an additional cost of around Rs 350 was raised by engineers as there was a huge underground rock and it needed to be stabilised for safety.

He also alleged that the Centre created “obstacles” so that the bridge was not completed in Arvind Kejriwal regime. 

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