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Wednesday, Jan 22, 2020
Home / India News / In Central Vista makeover plan, a new home for Prime Minister near his office

In Central Vista makeover plan, a new home for Prime Minister near his office

Among the major changes envisaged in the plan is the conversion of the North and South Block that currently house India’s home ministry, defence ministry, part of the external affairs ministry, finance ministry and the Prime Minister’s Office, into national museums.

india Updated: Jan 16, 2020 12:18 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Prime Minister’s new house will be constructed behind South Block from his current address at 7 Lok Kalyan Marg.
Prime Minister’s new house will be constructed behind South Block from his current address at 7 Lok Kalyan Marg.(Arvind Yadav/HT PHOTO)
         

The Central Vista redevelopment plans includes a slew of changes to the existing structures built by architects Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker.

The new plan involves a common secretariat housing all central government offices in 10 new buildings within the Vista, a new triangular Parliament building next to the existing Parliament Complex, conversion of North and South Blocks into national museums, demolition and relocation of the Indira Gandhi National Centre, remodelling of the National Archives and shifting Prime Minister’s residence and office behind South Block while the residence of the Vice President is proposed to be relocated behind North Block.

Here are 10 major changes proposed for the redeveloped Vista:

1) Shifting Prime Minister’s residence and office: Centre says about 90 acres of prime land has been “wasted” due to the encroachment by hutments. This land will be utilized to construct the new residence of the Prime Minister’s behind South Block from his current address at 7 Lok Kalyan Marg. Two plots have been selected behind South Block where the PM’s residence and office will be constructed with a connecting path for the PM to walk between the two buildings.

2) Shifting Vice President’s residence: The residence of the Vice President will also be shifted north of the North Block directly symmetrical and opposite to the Prime Minister’s residence.

3) Converting South and North Block into National museums: Among the major changes envisaged in the plan is the conversion of the North and South Block that currently house India’s home ministry, defence ministry, part of the external affairs ministry, finance ministry and the Prime Minister’s Office, into national museums. The central government ministries will be shifted to a common secretariat. These blocks are proposed to be converted into national museums. It is proposed to make South Block as a museum showcasing India’s history up to 1857 and North Block as the museum of India after 1857.

The message, government officials said, is to convey a shift in India’s “political ethos.”

4) Common Secretariat: At present, only 22 of 51 government ministries reside in the Vista. A total of 10 common secretariat buildings have been planned that will house about 70,000 central government employees as modern offices. None of the new structures will be higher than the India gate. The buildings will also be connected through underground automated people movers for the government employees to commute, these will be directly connected to the Delhi metro lines connecting the Central Secretariat areas.

5) Demolishing IGNCA and reallocating it, remodeling national archives: A plot of 15 acres has been identified by the Centre to relocate IGNCA near Jamnagar House. Government plans to utilise IGNCA land for building the secretariat complex while IGNCA will be shifted. There is currently 15 acres of hutments at Jamnagar house which will be removed to make way for IGNCA, government said. The idea is that this plot which is right across Hyderabad House will be a symmetric mirror image of the the building. National Archives will also be remodeled, contrary to the previous proposal of razing the building as per the new plan.

6) Expanding the Vista from ridge to the river: The central vista is likely to be extended beyond the Rashtrapati Bhawan to the Mother Teresa Crescent in the west and from the India Gate to the banks of the river Yamuna in the east, according to new changes made to the plan to redevelop the landmark Lutyens neighbourhood that houses India’s legislative and executive power.

7) Showcasing 75 years of India’s Independence:On the proposed extended portion of the Central Vista the government plans to construct a garden near the river Yamuna ‘New India Garden’ to install structures commemorating 75 years of India’s independence. Centre plans to hold a design competition for selecting the structures that should be out up the proposed garden, a senior government official said.

8) New Parliament building: The triangular complex proposed as the new Parliament Complex will be situated on plot inside the present complex. Contrary to his previous proposal of converting the old building into a museum, Government now plans to also utilize the old complex or certain Parliamentary functions after going through remodeling and retrofitting.

9) National biodiversity arboretum: Behind extending the Vista towards the West, the idea is to set up a national biodiversity arboretum on about 48 acres of land beyond Mother Teresa Crescent. Government plans to use the forest area to carve out about 48 acres for a national biodiversity arboretum which will have glass houses inside for housing the endangered plant species of India.

10) Central avenue: The area around the Rajpath is being referred as the Central Avenue. Among the plans to redevelop it include setting up civic amenities like toilets, benches and organized parking. The new avenue will also have underground pathways for pedestrians.