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Lutyens’ Delhi to be revamped to bring it to ‘international standards’

This will be the first such kind of project since the early 20th Century when New Delhi was first established, an official said.

Written by Ananya Tiwari | New Delhi | Updated: September 13, 2019 7:30:54 am
delhi Central Secretariat, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, delhi lutyens, delhi city planning, delhi city news Aerial view of Parliament House, North and South Block of Central Secretariat and Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi. (Express file photo)

Shifting offices in the Central Secretariat to an earthquake-resistant space and internal changes in the Parliament to make space for additional MPs once the delimitation process is complete — these are among the changes planned by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA).

According to officials, the plan will see an overhaul of Edward Lutyens and Herbert Baker’s 1911 creation, Lutyens’ Delhi — which includes Rajpath, or the Kingsway slope as it was called then, and the circular Parliament building or Sansad Bhavan — and the more modern central government offices, such as Shastri Bhavan, Nirman Bhavan and Udyog Bhavan, for accommodating the growing needs of the central government and to bring it up to international architectural and building standards.

This will be the first such kind of project since the early 20th Century when New Delhi was first established, an official said.

MoHUA floated a Request For Proposal on September 2, inviting national and international firms to pitch their design ideas to fundamentally change the face of Delhi’s landmark areas.

Discussions for the project have been ongoing for the past six months and the pre-bidding meeting was held Thursday.

A national high-level committee will be constituted soon, officials said, adding that they hope to shortlist firms by October 15.

Sources said the project would require three years to be completed after its initiation, and the plan is to complete renovation of the Parliament building by India’s 75th Independence Day in 2022.

Sources said that while the outer structure of the Parliament will be retained, it will be renovated from the inside, including providing extra rooms for MPs, and additional space for more representatives once the delimitation process is over. Officials said that if required, another building will be built nearby.

Similarly, the North and South blocks of the Central Secretariat may be emptied as these are not earthquake resistant. The offices will be shifted to a new central complex which would house all offices of the central government for increased overall efficiency and increased space for officials, said officials.

The 3-km Rajpath would also be redeveloped in a year.

Officials said the plan would bring Delhi’s government houses at par with those in Washington DC and Beijing, with all modern facilities and standards, street and traffic plans in place, to make conduct of business as smooth as possible.

Officials have said they are open to designs that would ensure the modernisation of the offices of Lutyens’ Delhi, Parliament House and Rajpath.

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