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Govt bungalows in Lutyens’ zone in line for a facelift

For decades the Lutyens’ Bungalows Zone has been popular for its aesthetics and planning,but these bungalows too have crossed their age limit and are now in urgent need for repair.

Written by Ruhi Bhasin | New Delhi | Published: April 30, 2013 2:13 am

For decades the Lutyens’ Bungalows Zone has been popular for its aesthetics and planning,but these bungalows too have crossed their age limit and are now in urgent need for repair.

Home to ministers,members of Parliament and senior bureaucrats,the 588 government bungalows in Lutyens’ zone are in line for redevelopment work.

After approval from the Ministry of Urban Development,the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) will be taking up the repair work in a phased manner.

The agency plans to carry out a three-dimensional integrated urban design study of the area,before taking up the work.

“A proposal has been sent to Ministry of Urban Development for approval. Before starting the work,a three-dimensional integrated design study for the area — including location of trees — will be conducted,’’ Director General (CPWD) V K Gupta said.

The agency also plans to provide modern facilities in the upgraded bungalows.

“The bungalows here are 80 to 90 years old. They are not structurally safe (anymore). They need to be upgraded with modern facilities,’’ a CPWD official said.

The Lutyens’ Bungalow Zone is spread over 2,800 acres. Of this,government bungalows are on 400 acres and another 100 acres are covered by private bungalows. The remaining area has open spaces like roads,gardens,parks,etc.

In the first phase,the re-development of Sunehari Bagh area,covering an area of 29.89 hectares,has started. There are 21 bungalow plots here,and work has started on seven bungalows. “The plan is to divide the 21 plots and construct 32 bungalows to accommodate VIPs,’’ a CPWD official said.

Gupta said: “We hope to take up the entire project in a phased manner so as to cause minimum dislocation and inconvenience to VIPs living in the area. We want to ensure that the basic character of the bungalows and their surroundings remains the same.’’

According to officials,maintenance of these bungalows has become difficult with complaints from occupants regarding seepage,cracks in the walls and arches,rundown facades,etc.

Another reason why the Ministry is keen to pull down the old structures is the pressure of finding space for new houses. With land in short supply in the area,the Ministry wants to make the best use of the existing land.

There is also a proposal to allow new construction in the zone,pending with the UD Ministry.

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