Headline : What is the project to redevelop Lutyens’ Delhi all about?
- The Central government has started its plan of redeveloping the three-km-long Central Vista and Parliament.
- The plan also includes constructing a common Central secretariat for all ministries that are currently spread over many buildings across Delhi.
- This follows calls from Members of Parliament to have their own offices at Parliament House, which only Ministers get as of now.
- In October, the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) selected a Gujarat-based architecture firm, HCP Design, Planning and Management Pvt. Ltd., to serve as its consultant for the project.
- The work on the ground in Lutyen’s Delhi is expected to start by May 2020.
Why did the government feel the need for redeveloping the area?
- The British built Parliament House and the North and South Blocks, which contain the offices of the Ministries of Finance, Home, Defence and External Affairs, between 1911 and 1931.
- Post-1947, the government of independent India added office buildings such as ShastriBhavan, KrishiBhavan and NirmanBhavan.
- According to the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs these buildings do not have the facilities and space required today.
- While the British-built buildings are not earthquake-proof, the buildings that came up after 1947 are prone to fires.
What is the plan?
- The huge rooms for Ministers and secretaries, with corridors lined with clerical staff would be replaced with modern workspaces.
- The new buildings that come up would have a lifespan of 150 to 200 years, would be energy-efficient and would represent a “new India”.
- While Parliament House and North and Sout Blocks will not be demolished, their usage may change, for example, they may be used as museums.
- The rest of the buildings that came up post-Independence, including ShastriBhavan, KrishiBhavan, etc, are likely to be demolished.
- Through this project the government will also save about ₹1,000 crore a year, which it spends currently on renting office premises for its ministries outside of Lutyens’ Delhi in the Capital.
What lies ahead?
- According to the government’s deadlines, the new Parliament (either as a completely new building or a renovation of the existing one) has to be ready by March 2022, the 75th year of India’s Independence.
- The revamped Central Vista, complete with public amenities and parking, has to be ready by November 2021 and the new common Central secretariat by March 2024.
- But after the government’s plan became public in September, concerns about conservation of heritage and the environment have come up.
- However, CPWD and Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has clarified that the green cover and the history of New Delhi will not be damaged in the process of the revamp.
Section : Polity & Governance