Centre shortlists consultants for National War Museum
The government has started work on a National War Museum at the India Gate hexagon in New Delhi, ending a four-year long wait for a structure that should have come up along with the National War Memorial which opened on February 25.
The planned museum will be connected through an underground passage with the memorial, according to documents reviewed by Hindustan Times.
The ministry of housing and urban affairs’ arm the Central Public Works Department of India has shortlisted two New-Delhi based firms, CP Kukreja Architects and Suresh Goel & Associates. CPWD opened the financial bid for the tender on July 23 for selecting the consultant for comprehensive architectural and engineering planning for the proposed National War Museum and underground connecting passage between National War Museum and Memorial in New Delhi.
The construction of the project is expected to cost around Rs 450 crore, according to officials aware of the development.
“The objective of this bid documents is to engage a consultant to plan the National War Museum at Princes’ Park with parking facility in the basement and Underground passage connecting with National War Memorial. The National War Museum Complex is to be connected with National War Memorial through a pedestrian Underground passage. The land area allotted for development of National War Museum Complex is around 10.71 Acre,” said the tender document, which has been reviewed by HT.
“The plan shall entail concept, plan, detailed design and strategies, development works, demolition of existing buildings as well as related infrastructure and site development works. These new iconic structures shall be a legacy for 150 to 200 years at the very least,” it added.
A combined Quality and Cost Bases selection (QCBS) process shall be adopted for the selection of Consultant. The first stage in the selection process shall be evaluation of the technical proposal submitted by the Bidders, the tender document states.
The final selection of the firm will be on the basis of the Final Composite Score (FCS) derived by combining the Technical Score (TS) and the Financial Score (FS) with 80% and 20% ratio respectively. A similar method was also adopted for the selection of the firm for Central Vista project in 2019, which was awarded to Gujarat based-HCP design. CP Kukreja Architects was also among the shortlisted bidders for the Central Vista project.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 25 inaugurated the National War Memorial. The plan to construct a National War Memorial has been under consideration since 1961 at the apex level.
“The consideration acquired momentum in 2014 and after a deliberate process the Union Cabinet on 7 October 2015 approved construction of National War Memorial & Museum (NWM&M) within the National capital’s Lutyen’s zone,” the war memorial’s website states. For the memorial a two stage Global competition was held in 2016-17 and Chennai based WeBe Design Lab Chennai was appointed the project consultant. A similar competition was held for the museum, but it soon turned controversial with the runner-up accusing the winner of plagiarism, and the battle ending up in court.
Now, CPWD seems to have decided to push ahead with the project for the museum.
“India has a rich military heritage. The gallantry of Indian soldiers is recognized world over. Since Independence, the Indian Armed Forces have fought four major wars to defend national borders and uphold our national interests. The Armed Forces have also won laurels and glory while operating in UN mandated peace missions, combating terror and insurgency and during conduct of Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Operations,” the CPWD tender said.
“A National War Museum has been planned in New Delhi as tribute to Indian soldiers and to showcase the nation’s military culture, customs, traditions and history. The Museum is envisaged to be world class, state of the art building which will be a ‘must visit’ landmark for those visiting New Delhi,” it added.
According to the tender, the consultant should adhere to the Central Vista Committee Guidelines and Lutyens Bungalow Zone Guidelines while carrying out the consultancy work.
“A pre-bid meeting was held on March 16 by CPWD officials with senior officials from the defence ministry and around 15 interested firms. Followed by this five firms had evinced interest and presented their designs and two qualified for the financial bids,” a senior official said.
The firm for the museum will soon be selected, the official added.