Commuters in the national capital heaved a sigh of relief with the opening of the iconic Signature Bridge for vehicular traffic on Monday (November 5). Now, travelling between northeast and north Delhi has become a smooth affair.
After several missed deadlines, the Signature Bridge was finally inaugurated by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on November 4. In addition to playing a major role in easing traffic pressure, the newly inaugurated bridge over the Yamuna river is the latest attraction among tourists visiting the city.
It is also reported to be the country's first asymmetrical cable-stayed bridge, with the gesture 'namaste'. The new landmark is double the height of Qutub Minar.
A viewpoint at the top of its 154 m high main pillar will give a panoramic view of the city and an experience like Eiffel Tower. This viewpoint, likely to be opened in February 2019, will be accessible via two lifts.
Inadequate funds had delayed the project for several years. It was approved after a bus carrying school children lost control on the narrow Wazirabad bridge and fell in Yamuna river resulting in the death of 22 children in 1997.
The Delhi cabinet gave its nod to the project in 2007. Initially, it was to be completed before the 2010 Commonwealth Games. It then missed its June 2016, July 2017 and December 2017 deadlines.
The traffic on Outer Ring Road, Shahdara Bridge, ISBT Kashmiri Gate, Khajuri Khas, Bhajanpura, Old Wazirabad Bridge and Pusta Road traffic will also be affected due to the opening of this bridge.
A Delhi Public Works Department (PWD) project, the bridge was constructed by the Delhi Tourism and Transport Development Corporation (DTTDC) at an expenditure of Rs 1,518.37 crore.
The bridge will be closed for traffic movement between 11 pm and 5 am after Diwali to carry out work on the glass façade atop the pylon.
A scuffle between BJP and AAP activists was also reported at the time of the inauguration of the bridge. Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari allegedly attacked AAP workers and punched a policeman who intervened at the inauguration site.
सिग्नेचर ब्रिज के उद्घाटन से मायूस कुछ खिसियानी बिल्लियां खम्बा नोंच रही हैं। इन्होंने सुपारी उठा रखी थी कि केजरीवाल सरकार के इस कार्यकाल में सिग्नेचर ब्रिज को पूरा नहीं होने देंगे।— Manish Sisodia (@msisodia) November 4, 2018
"जब मुझे यकींन है की खुदा मेरे साथ है,
तो इस बात से कोई फरक नहीं पड़ता की कौन मेरे खिलाफ है" pic.twitter.com/cWSwkIbZ6A