Central government employees may get to use an underground “people mover” to reach their offices, which will also connect with existing Metro stations, in the redeveloped Central Vista. As for overground transport, there will be buses, including electric, for tourists and visitors.
“There will be underground people mover directly connected to two Metro stations on the vista; It will connect all common central secretariat buildings, conference centre and National Archive. Something like this connects different terminals at the big airports like Chicago airport. Officials and public visiting central government offices will use this underground people mover,” Durga Shanker Mishra, Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, told The Indian Express Monday on the sidelines of the ministry’s press conference.
The government has identified around four locations — in Gole Market, K G Marg near Africa Avenue, and near Talkatora Stadium — in central Delhi for temporary shifting offices of various ministries. Offices of ministries will be housed in a new Central Secretariat building.
The government Monday said speculation about the projected cost of the redevelopment of the Central Vista is more than what it would actually be. “The cost of the project would be absorbed by respective ministries through their own budgets. The overall figure will be much lower than what is being speculated,” Hardeep Puri, Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs, told reporters.
People mover is the term used to describe small transit systems serving a limited number of people in a defined area, like theme parks, airport terminals, etc.
The ministry’s internal Heritage Conservation Committee Monday also okayed construction of the new Parliament building — a matter which had, until recently, been entangled in Supreme Court litigation. “Democratically elected government has to make a decision when to have a new Parliament. This government has taken that decision. The Estimates Committee in 1985 said so too. Secretary of Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar in 2012 wrote to the Urban Development secretary then asking for it (new Parliament building). The demand has to come from the users of the building,” Puri said.
The government has also given the contract for redevelopment and widening of the Central Vista avenue, like Rajpath, to construction major Shapoorji Pallonji, for around Rs 477 crore. “Work is on in various segments. The whole project should be completed by 2025,” he said.
The 2022 Republic Day parade will happen in the new Rajpath, said Mishra. Work will start right after the R-Day this year.
A 14-member heritage panel, headed by the Additional Secretary of the ministry, okayed the project paving the way for the new Parliament’s work to start in the next few days. “If you see history, the existing parliament building was never designed to house the legislature of an independent country,” said Puri.
The National Emblem will crown the new Parliament building. It will have six committee rooms to conduct business.
Asked if a public hearing was mandatory before granting approval, Mishra answered, “No”.
The panel has officers from different organisations and experts as members.
Mishra said the committee’s members are the ones who look into what is provided under unified building bylaws based on which they accept or reject a proposal or suggest modifications.
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