‘After multiple delays, Shahdara lake project nearing completion’

It faced multiple delays due to COVID pandemic

The East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) on Tuesday said that the 14-acre lake complex in Shahdara is nearing completion after the project faced multiple delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The facilities under the project, which will largely see a rejuvenated lake, include eateries, an open-air theatre, boating and other provisions as the EDMC aims to make it a tourist hub.

A senior EDMC official said that the original cost of the project, which is being executed under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (scheme, was close to ₹20 crore and that the amount allocated was close to ₹15 crore.

“The project is aimed at rejuvenating the dry lake for which the treated water from a sewage treatment plant was used to fill the lake which covers an area of 6.8 acres with an average depth of 2.7 metres. The cost for the revival of the lake was ₹14 crore and close to 80% of the work has been completed,” another EDMC official said, adding that the lake revival process first kicked off in 2020.

Responding to the notion of previously mentioned provisions at the lake complex — eateries, boating facilities, an open-air theatre, the official said that these provisions will be added in the next phase of the project which will be handled by the EDMC’s remunerative project cell — who will outsource it to a private agency.

He added, “The construction of the facilities under the third phase and maintenance of the project will also be undertaken by the agency. The project is estimated to be completed by April, 2022.”

Fund crunch

While the EDMC looks to generate more revenue from the lake revival project in the near future, the civic body is currently facing a financial crisis. Mayor Shyam Sunder Aggarwal on Tuesday stated the Delhi government was yet to sanction the pending funds to the civic body.

“Out of total ₹1,286.28 crore, the Delhi government gave ₹780.43 crore under the salary and plan scheme,” he said.

Mr. Aggarwal said that a total “₹1,494.76 crores” out of the EDMC’s revenue total of “₹1,586.28 crores” were spent on salaries and other expenses.

Previously, Mr. Aggarwal said the financial crisis had led to the non-payment of salaries to EDMC employees “for the last three months”.

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