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Wednesday, Nov 30, 2022

Prime Minister Narendra Modi to open new-look Central Vista Avenue and unveil Netaji statue today

The new-look stretch covers lawns on either side of the two-kilometre long Rajpath -- now renamed as Kartavya Path — from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate, covering around 101 acres. They have been replanted with different species of grass appropriate to location, according to sources associated with the project.

Six new parking lots; over 400 benches; amphitheatres for public performances; 64 toilets for women, 32 for men and 10 for the differently abled; underpasses for barrier-free crossing.

Walkways, benches and more lights and spruced-up lawns — all spread over 2 kilometres and 700 acres.

This, in essence, is the revamped Central Vista Avenue in the heart of the national capital, which is set to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday evening.

The new-look stretch covers lawns on either side of the two-kilometre long Rajpath — now renamed as Kartavya Path — from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate, covering around 101 acres. They have been replanted with different species of grass appropriate to location, according to sources associated with the project. Storm water drains have been included to prevent water-logging.

The canals along both sides of Rajpath have been fitted with aerators, and walls have been reinforced to prevent seepage. A total of 16 bridges, eight over each of the two canals, have been laid out in textured lakha red granite. The railings of the bridges are made of red sandstone with carved jaalis. The canals also have two parallel granite pathways, covering 16.5 km.

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There are underpasses, too, to facilitate pedestrian crossing. Two of these underpasses have been set up at the Janpath crossing, and the other two at the C-Hexagon crossing — all with ramps for the differently abled.

The revamped space also includes eight new amenity blocks with new signages. The amenity blocks have 64 female toilets, 32 male toilets and 10 accessible toilets for the differently abled, and drinking water facilities. These blocks are below ground level to maintain the character of the space. Two of these blocks near the stepped India Gate plaza have vending kiosks, too.

Besides, sources said, the original Jamun trees along the entire stretch have been preserved, and a total of 140 new trees planted.

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The newly built bridges and improved lighting along the stretch have made the space more accessible for public use, sources said. A portion of the area beyond the canals has been set aside for parking, with bays for 1,117 cars and 35 buses, and designated areas for app-based taxis and auto rickshaws.

64 toilets for women, 32 for men and 10 for the differently abled. (Express Photo)

The 74 historic light poles along the stretch have been restored, upgraded and reinstalled, while 900 new poles have been added along Rajpath, the canals, near the rows of trees, newly created parking bays and the India Gate precinct.

Power cables and stormwater pipes have all been moved underground, and modular bleachers have been proposed for the Republic Day parade.

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The Prime Minister will also unveil a statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose beneath the canopy next to India Gate.

According to officials, the sanctioned cost for the Central Vista Avenue project is Rs 608 crore. The CPWD will maintain the area with the contract for maintenance including civil, horticultural and electrical work, a senior CPWD official said.

A part of the Central Vista avenue stretch was ready for Republic Day this year. The project was initially scheduled to be completed by December 2021, and later by May 2022. The work was executed by construction firm Shapoorji Pallonji and Company Private Limited. The design process began in October 2019 and work on site began in February 2021.

The sources attributed the delays to Covid as well as a Supreme Court case.

Meanwhile on Wednesday, the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) approved the renaming of Rajpath to Kartavya Path. Council member and MP Meenakshi Lekhi said it was a break from the Colonial past and a bid to bring the name “in tune with the values and principles of democracy and contemporary New India”.

First published on: 08-09-2022 at 04:04:27 am
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