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Friday, May 20, 2022

Central Vista phase 1 deadline shifted to May, Rs 418 crore spent so far: Govt in Rajya Sabha

The Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs Kaushal Kishore said that the expenditure incurred till date is Rs 418.70 crore.

Written by Anisha Dutta | New Delhi |
Updated: March 15, 2022 1:55:01 am
Central VistaIn January this year, Union minister Hardeep Puri said that excessive rainfall in December had caused delays in the construction of the avenue. (Express photo by Amit Mehra)

The work for the first phase of redeveloped Central Vista Avenue, which comprises the Rajpath leading from the Rashtrapati Bhawan to the India Gate, is now scheduled to be completed by May 2022, the Centre said in the Parliament on Monday. This phase of the project was earlier scheduled for completion by December 2021.

The Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs Kaushal Kishore said that the expenditure incurred till date is Rs 418.70 crore, which is being met “from Major Head 4059 of Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs”, referring to the demand for grants for the ministry in the union budget. Kishore said this in response to a written question in the Rajya Sabha seeking information on whether the government has prepared the Central Vista Avenue plans, the details of the funds spent so far and various heads against which expenditure has been made.

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“The entire Central Vista Avenue along Rajpath is being redeveloped, from Vijay Chowk to India Gate. The major elements of the project are pedestrian underpasses, public facilities, parking, redevelopment of lawns, refurbishment of water bodies, walkways, lighting, closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras, irrigation system, etc. The first phase of the project is targeted to be completed by May, 2022,” he said.

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In January this year, Union urban housing minister Hardeep Puri said that excessive rainfall in December had caused delays in the construction of the avenue.

A section of the avenue was readied ahead of the Republic Day Parade this year while the construction of the underpasses and the rest of the public facilities were to be completed later.

When asked “whether it is a fact that estimated project cost of new Parliament House Building mega Central Vista Redevelopment Project has shot up by about 25 per cent”, the ministry replied in the negative. It also informed the Parliament that the New Parliament building will be ready by October 2022.

The Vice-President’s enclave and the new Parliament House will be the first buildings to be completed, and work on shifting the National Museum to the North and South blocks will commence last. This is part of the elaborate plan for the Central Vista revamp that requires moving people and offices over the course of the next six years.

The North and South blocks, which house the Union home, finance and defence ministries, apart from the PMO, will be the last to be vacated. This is because these crucial departments will need to be set up in their newly built offices first.

The existing plots in the South Block, where the buildings are proposed to be built, will first be demolished, as per the plan.

The plots where the PMO and the Executive Enclave are proposed to be built are currently occupied by Defence establishment hutments that have been relocated to KG Marg and Africa Avenue in New Delhi.

Work on the Prime Minister’s new residence will go beyond the December 2022 completion target, The Indian Express had reported on November 4 last year. According to the CPWD timeline, the PM’s residence was scheduled to be completed by December 2022. But that is set to change as well.

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