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Centre appoints Ahmedabad-based consultant for Lutyens makeover (Lead)
New Delhi, Oct 25 (IANS) The Union government has launched the ambitious project of redevelopment of the Parliament building, Central Secretariat and the Central vista — a three kilometre stretch from India Gate to Rajpath — and appointed an architectural consultant who has been associated with some important projects when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the Gujarat Chief Minister.
The Urban Development Ministry which is helming the project announced that the Ahmedabad-based company, HCP Design Planning, has been chosen as the architectural consultant.
The company is headed by Bimal Patel, who had also carried out the redevelopment of the Central Secretariat and Vista in Gandhinagar and the Sabarmati riverfront in Ahmedabad, apart from the redevelopment of the temple complex in Vaanasi, the Mumbai port complex, and the new campus of IIM Ahmedabad.
The Rs 229.7 crore contract awarded is much below the estimated Rs 448 crore, Urban Development Minister Hardeep Puri said.
The consulting cost is usually 3 to 5 per cent of the total cost of a project. But Puri declined to give the figure for the entire redevelopment.
Puri on Friday announced that while the timelines given to Central Public Works Department (CPWD) to complete the Central Vista project is November 2021, the work on Parliament building is to be completed by March 2022 and the common Central Secretariat by March 2024.
The Minister clarified that the old heritage buildings will not be pulled down and changing the exterior of the Parliament building is out of the question.
The idea is to improve the old buildings on Raisina Hills, make improved Common Secretariat Buildings, refurbish old Parliament building, make new space for new requirement of MPs and upgrade the entire Central Vista area by revisiting entire Master Plan and give a new look Delhi with an aim that it should meet the requirements for the next 250 years.
"These buildings of Lutyens Delhi which are now more than 100 years old are being given a makeover as the requirements have increased," Puri said, adding that buildings like North Block and South Block can be reused. For instance, he said to him South Block does not look like Foreign Office.
These buildings designed earlier are not now able to provide enough space, amenities and comfort requirement. The requirement of safety standards have also got improved.
In terms of offices, now more space is required to accommodate all central government offices which are scattered all over Delhi-NCR and Rs 1,000 crore of rent is being spent on the.
In addition, for the Parliament building, due to delimitation, Puri said more numbers of MPs may be there in future and hence more space is required for them.A Even for present MPs, the space and amenities required is quite insufficient in Parliament House. Lots of visitors come to Central Vista from India & abroad and there is an imperative need to improve the beauty of Central Vista to make it a worldA class tourist attraction point, he added.
Puri said the time has now come for building modern and defining characteristics of Delhi as the national capital for 250 years.
Calling it a transformational step for Delhi, the Minister said several measures have been taken in recent months for the national capital, including allowing ownership rights for the unauthorised colonies.
All these measures come at a time when the Delhi Assembly elections are slated in a few months.