New Delhi: A six-lane flyover in Delhi that was finished at Rs 100 crore less than planned and before time was described as the "eighth wonder of the world," by Arvind Kejriwal today.
"Only an honest government can achieve this," said the Chief Minister, celebrating an anomaly in a system where, he said, projects usually overshoot their budget by up to four times.
The 1.6 km road near Delhi's biggest wholesale vegetable market at Azadpur in the city's north was to be built at Rs 247 crore but ended up costing only Rs 143 crore.
"I don't remember when a 250 crore project was completed in 150 crores. I have seen a 250 crore project go up to 500 crores or 1000 crores. It is a miracle," he said.
Mr Kejriwal shared credit with his predecessor Sheila Dikshit, who led three successive Congress governments in Delhi. "Sheila Dikshit started the project. It was 20-30 per cent finished when our government took over," he said.
The Chief Minister also appeared charitable towards the central government, with which he has had a running feud over the control of key departments like land and policing in Delhi since he came to power in February.
"The Centre's urban development department is really active and supportive. I am trying to sort out issues with other departments at the centre," he quipped.
Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu, who was also present, returned the favour by praising the Delhi government.
A special team monitored the project on a daily basis and new 'pre-cast' cement technology was also used to save time and money.
"I have never heard of any project which was completed before time and within budget, it's like a 100 crore Diwali gift to the people" said Harish Dung a retired oil company officer who lives nearby.
Before the flyover was built, it could take up to 30 minutes to cover the stretch which has 3 busy traffic intersections; today it took just a few minutes.