The Central Public Works Department (CPWD) is considering a proposal to build Lutyens-style bungalows in North and South Avenue after razing the flats there.
CPWD Director-General V K Gupta the proposal, one of several options, was under consideration as buildings in the area, which falls in the Lutyens’ Bungalow Zone (LBZ), cannot exceed tree-height.
Together, North and South Avenue have over 400 flats for MPs. The flats are more than 53 years old and, if razed to make way for bungalows, fewer number of accommodations will be available for MPs in the area than available at present.
“The Rajya Sabha had earlier given clearance to accommodate three floors in place of the existing flats while maintaining tree height as the vertical growth limit. But the proposal did not get clearance from the Lok Sabha. The new house committee has asked us to consider developing bungalows similar to the ones in Lutyens’ Delhi in place of flats. We are looking at the option,” Gupta said.
Meanwhile, 25 out of 60-odd bungalows have been vacated by their previous occupants in Lutyens’ zone and would be allotted to new Union ministers in two-three weeks once repair work is completed.
“Some 25 bungalows occupied by UPA ministers have been vacated and handed over to us. It will take two-three weeks to complete ongoing repair work, including whitewash, and then these will be ready for the new allottees,” Gupta said.
Additions might be made to some of the bungalows, keeping in mind the requirements of the new occupants. “Any addition by way of room or office space will only be a temporary construction and will be done keeping in mind the heritage character of the area,” an official said.
Gupta said since all the bungalows in Lutyens’ Delhi had become very old, these would be eventually demolished and reconstructed in a phased manner. There are 516 bungalows in Lutyens’ zone, which were constructed more than 80 years ago.
The reconstruction of Type-VIII and Type-VII bungalows are estimated to cost Rs 3,082 crore. “There was a proposal earlier for densification of the Lutyens’ Bungalow Zone, but that proposal has been rejected and now only redevelopment will take place,” Gupta said.
“The project will also have to be cleared by the new house committee and is likely to be taken up over a period of 20-30 years depending on the availability of bungalows that can be razed and reconstructed,” an official said.