While plans are afoot for the redevelopment of the Parliament building and Central Vista, most leading architecture firms in the country feel they are being excluded and that due processes are not being followed.
An advertisement in the newspapers on September 2, for the appointment of an architectural consultant for the project, laid down criteria that architects say even the most established firms in India will find difficult to match. These include limiting applications to firms with a turnover of Rs 20 crore or having completed a project masterplan for 500 acres. That it calls for the lowest bid also hinders the best design from winning, many feel.
At the pre-bid meet called by the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) Thursday, leading firms presented their concerns. At the meeting in Sewa Bhavan, chaired by Harnam Singh, Chief Engineer, CPWD, architects questioned the nature of the plan, which mostly went unanswered.
Letters sent to Union Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri earlier this week, by the Indian Institute of Architects (IIA) and Council of Architecture, which suggested a design competition for the project, too, received no replies.
“To not have a proper brief and call for a pre-bid is infructuous. The criteria laid out keeps more people out,” said architect Shamit Manchanda, Chairman, IIA, Northern Chapter.
Singh defended the tender, saying, “We have given much stricter criteria in the past for smaller projects. Every query can’t be replied to; don’t expect instantaneous answers.”