New Delhi, Sep 17 (PTI) Delhiites will have to wait a little longer for smooth ride through Ashram crossing in south Delhi as the completion of construction of an underpass there will take two more months due to complexities involved in the work, Delhi PWD Minister Satyendar Jain said on Friday.

He said the delay is occurring because of some heavy power cables lying in the course of the under-construction underpass on the crucial stretch.

The Ashram Chowk is an important link between central and south Delhi with the satellite towns of Noida and Faridabad.  The junction connects Mathura Road and the Ring Road (linking Lajpat Nagar-Sarai Kale Khan and DND Flyover).

Once the project is completed, it would benefit commuters taking the busy Ashram crossing and would ease the ride towards Sarita Vihar, Badarpur and Faridabad from ITO.

“Some problem has appeared in the Ashram underpass construction because of emergence of heavy power cables at the construction site of one of the ramps of the underpass. We are shifting these cables which will take around one month and after that this ramp will be made.

"'I want to tell that this entire work (construction of the underpass) will be completed in two months time,” Jain told reporters in a video message, which was shared by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on its Twitter handle.  According to the Public Works Department (PWD) officials, the revised deadline of the project is now November 30. Earlier the project was to be completed in September this year.

The delay will add to the traffic woes of thousands of commuters who rely on the stretch and residents who live nearby.

Traffic police data shows that around 2.5 to 3 lakh vehicles cross the Ashram intersection every day during peak traffic hours.  This is the fourth time that the deadline of the project has been pushed. The foundation stone of the project was laid by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on December 24, 2019.

Its initial deadline was December 2020 which was extended to March 2021 and was further pushed to June 30, 2021 and then to September 2021.

The estimated cost of the project is Rs 78 crore.

“We are working tirelessly to shift cables from the course of the underpass. The project will be completed and opened for the traffic by November end this year,” a senior PWD official said.

The minister also said that there were complaints of potholes on the Mathura Road near the construction sites and that has been tackled with.  “Potholes on the road have been repaired and its surfacing work will be done after rains stop as street surfacing cannot be done during rains,” Jain added.