‘Iconic structure’ planned near Yamuna as part of Central Vista project

Updated on Nov 12, 2020 09:43 PM IST

The structure would be part of the New India Gardens or the Nav Bharat Udyan that is proposed to come up on 20.22 acres on the western bank of Yamuna. It is expected to be unveiled to the public by August 15, 2022.

The proposed plan map. (HT Photo)
The proposed plan map. (HT Photo)
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByAnisha Dutta

The Central Public Works Department (CPWD) on Thursday announced a design competition to construct an “iconic structure” on the bank of the river Yamuna as part of the Central Vista redevelopment project to commemorate 75 years of independence.

The structure would be part of the New India Gardens or the Nav Bharat Udyan that is proposed to come up on 20.22 acres on the western bank of Yamuna. It is expected to be unveiled to the public by August 15, 2022.

A CPWD proposal dated November 12 said the structure so built must “realise the grand vision of Aatmanirbhar Bharat, symbolising emerging New India with equitable growth opportunities, rooted in values of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikaas, Sabka Vishwaas and representing the aspiration of clean India, free from poverty, corruption, terrorism, communalism and casteism”.

“The structure will be part of a complex that will also have facilities for entertainment and to showcase “India’s rich historical and cultural heritage,” the proposal stated.

To be sure, the master plan submitted by Ahmedabad-based HCP Design, Planning and Management Pvt Ltd — the architecture firm that has been tasked with developing the Central Vista — included the construction of the New India Gardens near the Yamuna river, though the firm will not be involved in its construction.

HCP has been tasked with redeveloping the Central Vista avenue, which includes building a new Parliament complex, also by August 15, 2022.

According to the CPWD proposal, the new structure must come up on the central axis — which starts at the Rashtrapati Bhawan, moves on the central line between North and South Blocks and Rajpath and culminates at India Gate — thereby extending the axis from 2.9km to 6.3km.

“Under the Master Plan, the Central Vista Axis will be extended from the present 2.9 km to 6.3 km from ridge to river. On the eastern side, it will culminate at the western bank of River Yamuna. This will restore the original design envisioned for the Central Vista,” the proposal stated.

The Nav Bharat Udyan will be open to the public and will also have facilities such as the “Sphere of Unity”, “Milestones Walkway”, “Journey of India”, “Tech Dome”, “Amphitheatre” all of which are meant to showcase India’s heritage and scientific advancement and “to symbolise unity in diversity and aspirations of the New India”.

The CPWD proposal mandated that only such material and technology should be used to build the structure that would endure like “Ashoka’s edicts, Iron Pillar in Qutub Minar complex etc.”

As per the rules of the design competition, any Indian citizen or organisation is allowed to participate. It will include architects, architectural firms, students, student groups, architectural or planning schools / colleges and other institutions across India, or any combination of the above.

All submissions have to be made by December 11 while the winners will be announced in the last week of December 2020.

“The structure should be iconic in design and represent the national capital. For example, at present India Gate erected by the British in the Central Vista in the early 20th century prominently signifies Delhi. The proposed iconic structure being built in independent India should now become a new symbol of the national capital,” CPWD’s proposal said.

The structure can be a tower or a sculpture or any other form besides a building that can be occupied, according to the rules.

The maximum permissible height at the proposed site as per colour coded zonal map prepared by Airports Authority of India is 134 metres from the present ground level.

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