“By the time we meet in 2024, at the time of the next election, it is our expectation that we will be in a new Parliament building,” said Union Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri Friday. This comes a day after the Ministry announced the “development/redevelopment of Parliament Building, Common Central Secretariat and Central Vista” or a revamp of Lutyens’ Delhi.
“One of the Prime Minister’s dream projects is to reconstruct those buildings built between 1911 and 1927 like North Block, South Block, Rashtrapati Bhawan and Parliament building,” Puri said at a Delhi Development Authority event.
Puri said, “As of now, it’s expected that by mid-October, we will be able to float a tender (for the design), and by next year, construction may begin.”
As per the notice inviting bids for appointment of a consultant, uploaded on the Central Public Works Department’s website, “a new Master Plan is to be drawn up for the entire Central Vista area that represents the values and aspirations of a New India — good governance, efficiency, transparency, accountability and equity and is rooted in the Indian Culture and social milieu”.
A source at the MoHUA said, “We are looking at firms, national or international, based in India so that they understand architectural styles prevalent in India.”
Between 1911 and 1931, English architects Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker built the Parliament, Rashtrapati Bhawan, North and South Blocks and the Rajpath. Modern buildings such as Nirman Bhawan, Shastri Bhawan, Udyog Bhawan, Krishi Bhawan, Rail Bhawan and Sanchar Bhawan came about a few decades later.
The massive redevelopment project will turn Lutyens’ Delhi into a mega construction site, with expected traffic snarls, as the Bhawans may undergo demolition. A source at the Ministry said, “If we do the work section by section, the entire project will take 15 years… work will be done simultaneously. Traffic management plans will be made and alternate housing will be figured out. We are confident this project will change the face of the city.”
The source said Lutyens’ Delhi’s famed green cover will be kept intact as the Ministry will ensure that “no trees would be cut for this”. “The new construction will also adhere to green building standards. We are keeping in mind renewable energy too,” added the source.
E-vehicles, charging stations and solar power systems are also in the proposal.