President Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday laid the foundation for a ceremonial hallceremonial hall and transit accommodation that are to come up at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
The Ceremonial Hall will be an extension of the existing auditorium and is meant to be an indoor space for organising State functions during inclement weather. The proposed hall has been designed to hold a Guard-of-Honour by 90 defence personnel,including the Army band. The hall will also have facilities for media coverage of such functions.
This hall will be able to hold at-home functions for about 2,000 guests. The building will be built in accordance with universal access principles as well as green building norms, a statement released by the Presidents estate said.
This hall will come into use especially during bad weather,since Durbar Hall and Ashoka Hall cannot provide the services and accommodate guests on such a large scale, a Central Public Works Department (CPWD) official said. The project is likely to cost Rs 25 crore and is expected to be ready for use by August next next year.
The transit accommodation,which is called Peacock Suites,will have 16 fully furnished suites in two-storey blocks. Eight of them will have two bedrooms,while the other eight will be one-bedroom suites, the official said.
The designs of both the building conform to the guidelines mentioned under the Comprehensive Heritage Conservation Master Plan of the Estate prepared by INTACH. Officials said the buildings will be constructed without a single tree being felled and without any damage to the environment.
CPWD has been entrusted with the maintenance and upkeep of Presidents Estate. Plans to construct a museum on the history of Indias presidents is also underway, an official said. The suites will cost Rs 6 crore and the project will be ready for use by August 2014 .0