New ceremonial hall at Rashtrapati Bhavan will be an all-weather allyhttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/new-ceremonial-hall-at-rashtrapati-bhavan-will-be-an-allweather-ally/

New ceremonial hall at Rashtrapati Bhavan will be an all-weather ally

The construction of Rashtrapati Bhavan's new ceremonial hall is set to begin by the end of this year,with tenders for the project already floated.

The construction of Rashtrapati Bhavan’s new ceremonial hall is set to begin by the end of this year,with tenders for the project already floated.

According to the Central Public Works Department (CPWD),the new hall meant to receive national and foreign dignitaries,will accommodate approximately 1,200 guests — a number that the Ashoka Hall and Durbar Hall cannot hold. The new hall will also act as a buffer during adverse weather conditions.

“The ceremonial hall will be built adjoining the auditorium. The single-storeyed building will be used to formally welcome heads of states and national-level dignitaries during home functions,besides foreign dignitaries. This hall will especially come into use during rains since Durbar Hall and Ashoka Hall cannot accommodate guests in such a large scale,’’ a CPWD official said.

CPWD said construction would be completed eight months after work is begun. “We have already floated the tenders. The project includes building the hall and carrying out electrical works,besides securing it against fire,’’ a CPWD official said.

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The project is likely to cost around Rs 25 crore and is expected to be ready for use by next year. “The last date for receiving bids is October 28,after which the contract will be awarded in a month’s time,’’ the official said.

CPWD,which has been entrusted with upkeep of the President Estate,said the project had been approved by local bodies and conforms to the conservation Master Plan prepared recently by Indian National Trust For Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) for Rastrapati Bhawan. The Master Plan would serve as a blueprint for all future restoration to the original plan outlined by Sir Edwin Lutyens — the architect of the viceroy’s residence that is now the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

“The plan has been approved by Delhi Urban Art Commission,Delhi Fire Service,New Delhi Municipal Corporation. A plan to construct a museum,which will tell people about the history of all the Presidents of India,is also underway ’’ an official said.

The mansion has four floors and 340 rooms. With a floor area of 2,00,000 square feet,it was constructed with 700 million bricks and

3 million cubic feet of stone. Hardly any steel has been used in the construction of the building.