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Structure & Facts of Central Vista Redevelopment Project

New Parliament Building of IndiaStructure & Facts of Central Vista Redevelopment Project

Central Vista Redevelopment Project refers to the ongoing redevelopment to revamp the Central Vista, India’s central administrative area located near Raisina Hill, New Delhi.

The area was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and Sir Herbert Baker during British colonial rule and was retained by Government of India after independence.

Scheduled between 2020 and 2024, the project as of 2020 aims to revamp a 3 km (1.9 mi) long Rajpath between Rashtrapati Bhavan and India Gate, convert North and South Blocks to publicly accessible museums by creating a new common Central Secretariat to house all ministries, a new Parliament building near the present one with increased seating capacity for future expansion, new residence and office for the Vice President and the Prime Minister near the North and South Blocks and convert some of the older structures into museums.

The cost of the Central Vista Redevelopment project, which also includes a Common Central Secretariat and the Special Protection Group (SPG) building, has been estimated to be around INR 20,000 crore (US$2.8 billion)spread over four years. Contract of only two projects worth Rs.1339 crores have been awarded till now. These include New Parliament building and rejuvenation of Central Vista Avenue at an estimated cost of Rs.862 crores and Rs.477 crores respectively. The project began with the ceremonial laying of the foundation stone of the new Parliament building in December 2020.

Background

Ensemble of government buildings on Rajpath, New Delhi in 2016.
The Central Vista was first designed by architect Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker, when the capital of the British Raj was moved from Calcutta to Delhi. The Parliament building alone took six years to construct, from laying the foundation stone on 12 February 1921, to the inauguration by then Viceroy Lord Irwin on 18 January 1927. After Independence in 1947, it became the seat of the government of the new Republic. The Parliament campus was declared a heritage precinct in the 1962 Master plan of Delhi.

As the needs and duties of the government expanded, so did the usage of the space. However, due to the development in the area being around a century old, and the current growth and development of India, the Central Vista has “failed” to keep up with the needs of the country. In the 1990s studies were carried out and the conclusion reached was the need of redeveloping the area.

The Central Vista Redevelopment Project was launched in 2019. The project includes converting North and South Blocks into public museums, while creating an ensemble of new secretariat buildings to house all ministries, relocating the Vice President and the Prime Minister’s offices and residences near the North and South Blocks, and revamping the 3 km (1.9 mi) long Rajpath between Rashtrapati Bhavan and India Gate. A new Parliament building with increased seating capacity will be built beside the older one as India aims to expand its Parliamentary membership in 2026. The project aims for completion in 2024 before general elections. This plan did not include the proposed PMO as there were issues of pending land-use change and litigation. The construction of the new Parliament building was temporarily put on hold by Supreme Court of India but was released again within few days with some “riders”.

Approval and bidding

Approval Process

The criteria for the competition were set by the Council of Architecture, which included no building being taller than India Gate. The project proponent or client had to seek conceptual approval from the Delhi Urban Arts Commission (DUAC). Financial decisions received clearance from the Central Vigilance commission. Monetary allocation was provided from the Finance Ministry. Project assessment studies were done by the New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC). The regulatory master plan is supposed to be done by an elected body like the NDMC, MCD or DDA, but was done by the Central Public Works Department (CPWD).

Competition

In reality, instead of a call to competition there was a Notice Inviting Tender. The difference being that in a competition the winner is awarded a prize, not a contract; in a tender, there is a firm intent and the winner receives the contract. The competition was held in two rounds. In the first round, merit is based on possibilities and innovation. In the second stage, the winner is decided based on their capacity to deliver results. The winner was decided by a jury, the names of jury members was announced before the competition.

Finalists

There were six finalists of the competition:

  • HCP Design Planning and Management Pvt. Ltd.
  • CP Kukreja and Associates Pvt Ltd
  • Hafeez Contractor
  • Sikka Associates Architects
  • INI Design Studio
  • Dsouza and Sons

The competition was won by Bimal Patel led HCP Design Planning and Management Pvt Ltd of Gujarat. There are different components to the overall project, and the contractors for each component are to be chosen by individual bidding processes.

Plan for Redevelopment

The project is expected to cost around INR 20,000 crore (US$2.8 billion) and to be fully completed by 2024.

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