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Wednesday, Nov 13, 2019

Centre to finalize architect firm for revamping Central Vista, Parliament next week

india Updated: Oct 19, 2019 23:19 IST
Anisha Dutta
Anisha Dutta
Hindustantimes
         

New Delhi: The final contract for designing the ambitious revamp of New Delhi’s Central Vista, or Rajpath, the seat of power in the national capital, is likely to be awarded in the coming week, government officials aware of the development said.

After the government met on September 12 with 15 architects interested in the contract, six submitted bids for the project, said the officials, who requested anonymity . Five of the six made it to a short list after qualifying for the contract on financial parameters -- HCP Design, Planning And Management Private Limited, Ahmedabad; Mumbai-based Hafeez Contractor; and New Delhi-based C.P. Kukreja Architects, Sikka Associates Architects and Arcop Associates Private Limited

“The jury has reviewed the presentations made by each firm; we are confident that we will have a decision by Wednesday,” one of the officials cited above said on condition of anonymity.

The government is planning to restructure the Central Vista in a move that might include revamping or building a new Parliament House by 2022 and razing a dozen government offices to build an integrated complex by 2024, Hindustan Times reported on September 13 .The area, roughly 4 sq km in size, along Rajpath, which runs from Rashtrapati Bhavan through Vijay Chowk and India Gate in central Delhi, would be completely revamped.

The plan includes razing buildings such as Shastri Bhawan, Udyog Bhawan and Krishi Bhawan that house important government ministries to build a common secretariat for roughly 70,000 central government employees who now currently work across 30 buildings. The deadline for construction is March 2024.

“The presentations were held last Friday and we are in the process of finalizing the assessment. It is moving very fast and I am hoping by the next week or so we can take it forward,” housing and urban affairs minister Hardeep Puri told HT.

“We are at the stage of selecting the entity which will take this forward, after that they will share their Ideas and we will go through extensive public consultations. There are a lot of people with great design, each company out of the six was better than the other. To select that among the steep competition requires clinical analysis ,” he added.

According to the government’s proposal, bidders eligible for the project should have completed at least one single master plan for urban or historical area redevelopment of a size not less than 500 acres. The bidders also need to have the experience of building at least one single project worth Rs 250 crore. A provision in the Centre’s proposal allows the selected firm to hire foreign consultants, who would have to disclose the names and addresses of agents or representatives in India, if any.

A spokesperson for HCP Design said:” HCP is one of the bidders for the preparation of the Central Vista plan, and the selection process is still underway. At this stage, we are not in a position to provide any information regarding the same.” The firm was involved in the Sabarmati Riverfront Development Project.

“ I can tell you that it will be as good as one of the wonders of the world; we have given them a plan which ensures that the basic environment and heritage of the country remains intact,” Hazeez Contractor said.

His firm is credited with the design of the twin-tower Imperial residential complex in Mumbai and The 42 in Kolkata.

The Centre will also change the 2021 Delhi Master Plan to enable the planned revamp.

“70% of India has to be rebuilt by 2030, you think we can continue with buildings like the Lok Nayak Bhawan or Sashtri Bhawan? The Delhi master plan is constantly being revised. The master plan can’t be written in stone no matter how visionary the people who planned it were,” Puri said.

He also added that the planned revamp of the Central Vista will not entail felling any trees.

“ I have also said not a single tree will be cut. Essentially we will not touch anything of a historical, cultural and heritage nature... there has been a lot of disinformation regarding this...we want Delhi to look like one of the finest capital cities in the world. We have all the area and we will make it more green. Once the designs come we will examine how it will be done but the principle is very clear,” Puri added