Moving the ambitious Central Vista project a step closer to getting environmental clearance, an expert panel under the Environment Ministry has given a go-ahead to the Central Public Works Department to draw up the plans meant to be submitted to the ministry for a final nod.
While granting Terms of Reference to CPWD, the panel, formally called the Expert Appraisal Committee on Infrastructure, asked the department to provide “detailed demolition plan along with mitigative measures (and) include details of proposed strategy for management of construction and demolition waste”.
“Efforts must be made for instant demolition of the latest technique in place of extended demolition to avoid air pollution during the demolition process,” the panel told the department.
CPWD, along with M/s. Kadam Environmental Consultants, had submitted plans to the expert panel for redevelopment of the Common Central Secretariat Buildings and Central Conference Centre, along with the Prime Minister’s residence, SPG building and Vice-President’s enclave. A revised estimated cost of Rs 13,450 crore had been submitted, up from the earlier estimated cost of Rs 11,794 crore.
The total built-up area proposed is 17,21,500 sq mts, and the area to be demolished is 4,58,820 sq mts. Buildings which are currently operational in the area marked for redevelopment include IGNCA, Shastri Bhavan, Krishi Bhavan, Vigyan Bhavan, VP Residency, National Museum, Jawahar Bhavan, Nirman Bhavan, Udyog Bhavan, Raksha Bhavan and the INS Hutments.
In their presentation to the expert panel, the project proponents said the Common Central Secretariat will consolidate all ministries of the Government of India, and improve productivity and efficiency of administration. The buildings will also be connected to the Delhi Metro.
“Modern and secure residential facilities for the Vice-President and the Prime Minister will be equipped with all necessary spaces and infrastructure, including special protection group. The plan for comprehensively improving and augmenting Central Vista will strengthen governance infrastructure by building an efficient and sustainable Central Secretariat to house all the Ministries of the Government of India, a Central Conference Centre to cater to all conferencing needs across Ministries, well-equipped and adequate residences for the Vice-President and the Prime Minister,” states the presentation, adding that the plans foresee a reduction in disruptions caused to city traffic as well.
According to minutes of the expert panel meeting, the CPWD said it will cover the impact of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) report for a holistic coverage of the overall impact, which means a new PMO will also come up under the Central Vista redevelopment project.
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