2022 Republic Day parade may be held on a new Rajpath
The 2022 Republic Day parade may be held on a “revamped” Rajpath — the ceremonial boulevard of Central Delhi which runs from Rashtrapati Bhavan through Vijay Chowk and India Gate.
The Centre plans to finish revamp of Rajpath by November 2021, officials aware of the development said.
The Republic Day parade is held on January 26 each year at Rajpath, India Gate. It begin from the Raisina Hill, near the President’s estate Rashtrapati Bhavan, and ends at the India Gate.
The move comes days after the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government announced its plans of revamping the seat of the capital — the central vista also known as Lutyens’ Delhi named after its architect; Edward Lutyens. The mega project also includes revamping or building a new Parliament House by 2022 and razing a dozen government offices to build an integrated complex by 2024.
“We will begin the work of redeveloping the Rajpath area by February 2021. The present condition needs complete revamp. Go and look at the state of electricity poles and the chaos of traffic and street vendors there and compare it to the Central Vistas of other capitals like Paris or Washington DC. Interestingly, all the central vistas of these places is the same, three kilometres. We have the space and we need to modernise ours,” a senior official at the ministry of housing and urban affairs said.
On concerns over distorting the historical architecture of the Lutyens’ zone, the official said, “We will not touch the basic structure of Lutyens’ as it is a part of our legacy and celebrated across the world. But we will make the place more beautiful and modern. We are in fact studying the original works of Edward Lutyens and going through his designs, which were impeccable. But as per his vision there has been no development in these buildings after that,” the official added.
Union urban and housing development minister Hardeep Puri on Thursday had told Hindustan Times that there was no plan to destroy the North Block or the South Block adding that the buildings, however, were inefficient and needed modern structures.
“We will not touch the outer facades of North Block, South Block and the Rashtrapati Bhawans but all these buildings are not earthquake proof and we will be redeveloping them. Places like Brazil and Kuala Lumpur have made new Parliaments, we can get them to advise us,” the official added.
Roughly a 3-4 sqkm area, will be completely revamped along the central vista or Rajpath, as per the request for proposal (RFP) document floated by the Centre on September 2. The Centre may also change the 2021 Delhi Master Plan, the official said.
“We have received more than 200 queries on this and nearly 20 bidders have shown interest. The last date of receiving the bids has been extended to September 30 and we will finalize the firm before Diwali this year,” the official added.
The ministry’s construction arm, Central Public Works Department (CPWD), is anchoring this project and the Centre also plans to form a special core team to plan and implement it.
“ We will form a core team of CPWD officials to oversee this and we have told the officials that we are keeping a close watch on officials with talent and spirit to be a part of history as it is a matter of great honour to be part of project of this magnitude,” the official said.