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Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Bridges, red granite walkways: Sample shows what Central Vista will look like

The sample stretch — 190 metres long and 45 metres wide — sports red granite stones from Rajasthan, replacing the bajri sand that lined the ground earlier.

Written by Ashna Butani | New Delhi |
September 14, 2021 2:08:50 am
Work on a sample stretch, including a bridge over a canal, is done. (Photo tweeted by Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri)

Red granite walkways with greenery all around, bridges to cross canals, stone benches at regular intervals, and ample lighting — a sample stretch of the Central Vista Avenue offers a peek into what the avenue would look like once ready.

The sample stretch — 190 metres long and 45 metres wide — sports red granite stones from Rajasthan, replacing the bajri sand that lined the ground earlier. The stones, both square and rectangle in shape, have been placed symmetrically. Walkways and green buffers have also been created. The width of the walkway is 4.6 metres along Rajpath. In other parts of the avenue, it will be 3 metres wide.

When contacted, Bimal Patel, director, HCP Design, Planning and Management Pvt. Ltd, the firm designing the Central Vista, told The Indian Express, “The sample stretch is ready, and we are quite pleased with how it has turned out. The work on Central Vista Avenue is progressing at a good pace. The contractors are doing their best to make up for delays caused by the pandemic, and the Avenue is expected to be ready in time for the next Republic Day Parade.”

What’s new, what changes

Fence, lighting: Officials working on the project said the heritage chain link fence and light poles are being refurbished and reinstalled.

The stretch will have a total of 1,058 light poles, aimed at making it more pedestrian-friendly even after dark. These will include the old-refurbished ones and new light poles which will have the same design. Of this, 137 will be installed on Rajpath while the remaining will be installed in the canals, parking area, India Gate, and other parts of the avenue.

As for the chain links, officials said they have been removed and stored securely for now.

Bollards: The old structures have been removed and new ones are being installed. Officials said the bollards were earlier made of sandstone and replaced with concrete over the years. The plan envisages going back to sandstone bollards.

Green areas: Green buffer zones have been created on the sample stretch. The lawn on Rajpath, akin to the lawns that existed previously, is 50 metres wide, while the green buffer along the canal is around 5 metres wide. The green zones between the canal and the parking area and around the canals will be around 30 metres wide, while those between the parking and compound walls will be 20 metres in most places. The green zones comprise grass and a few plants that have been planted at intervals.

Trees: Most of the jamun trees which have been around for a century remain intact. However, 26 out of those 1,180 rai-jamun trees are being transplanted to make space for public amenities such as toilets. While they are being shifted on the stretch itself, some experts are unsure of the chances of survival.

The avenue will have around 3,900 trees in total, of which 40 are nearing the end of their natural life cycle and will not be replaced. Species on the stretch also include Pride of India and Safeda.

Other features: A few stone benches with engraved motifs have been placed on the sample stretch; a total of 400 such benches will line the avenue. At least one bridge over the canal is ready and there will be 16 such bridges (eight on each side). Work on the pedestrian underpasses is ongoing and there will be four such underpasses — two at the Rajpath-Janpath intersection and two where the Rajpath meets the C-Hexagon.

Areas around the sample stretch are in different stages of completion.

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