Office space may be shrinking in central Delhi, but the government can't make up its mind whether Vikas Bhavan, spread over 24,058 square metres, needs to utilise space better.
It houses a number of government offices that operate from several low-rise buildings, with large tracts of open space thrown in. Most of these spaces have concrete surfaces.
A Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (DSIIDC) plan to build a multi-storey building on a public-private-partnership basis is hanging fire because of the Public Works Department's (PWD) reluctance to give a go ahead for the demolition of the structures.
"The PWD feels there is no need to demolish the buildings as they are sound structurally," said Delhi chief secretary Rakesh Mehta. Some parts of the complex, however, have been declared unsafe by the MCD. Government officials said the PWD was averse to DSIIDC bagging the project.
Mehta said the government was still considering the plan and was yet to give a final nod.
The project plans to house government offices on the higher floors and make five per cent of the floor area ratio (FAR) on the ground floor available to private parties at Rs 2,50,000 per square feet. This is expected to help the government earn about Rs 60 crore.
A total of Rs 144 crore would be raised from developers who would be able to use 15 per cent of the FAR. Another Rs 90 crore could be expected from the office space between floors three and five that accounts for 10 per cent of the total FAR.
The total cost of the project was pegged at Rs 190 crore.
"Economically speaking, the DSIIDC proposal is a more viable option. This is a self-sustaining project. It would also create more office space in Delhi. Parking space for cars is also part of the plan," said a senior government official, who refused to be named.
Many Delhi government departments have offices in the building.