‘Unity sphere’, tech dome in New India garden plan
The New India Garden or Nav Bharat Udyan proposed to be built on the bank of the river Yamuna as part of Centre’s plan to extend the Central Vista axis from India Gate till the river will house a “sunflower plaza”, a “Growth Plaza” representing all states and UTs of India, a “sphere of unity,” a “techno dome” an open air theatre and a maze showcasing the “journey of India” apart from an “iconic structure” as the new symbol of the Capital, according to a presentation by the Central Public Works Department (CPWD), reviewed by HT.
The Nav Bharat Udyan will also have an entrance inspired by the Martand Sun Temple, the famous ruins of which are in the Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir.
The complex is being built as part of the Central Vista redevelopment project. The Nav Bharat Udyan will 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, when India turns 75.
A government official familiar with the plans said the garden will be iconic, represent the values of a new India, and that it can be experienced through hi-tech. “At the entrance gate we will have a digital layer, where you can pair your smart watch and go through various levels of the complex. After the entrance you will see the ‘sphere of unity’ where ‘India @75’ is being inscribed in different languages. The bronze sphere will be mounted on a ‘mandal’, then you will go through the ‘milestone walkway’ depicting each year of Independence with its most significant achievements highlighted.”
The government in November announced that the length of the Central Vista axis which extends from the Rashtrapati Bhawan, through the North and South Blocks, over Rajpath and to India Gate, would double from 2.9km to 6.3km – right up to the riverbank.
“At the centre is the Sunflower plaza is where the iconic tower or structure, a new symbol of the Capital is being planned. This falls on the axis of the Central Vista. Along this will be a ‘growth plaza’ with 36 columns representing each state and UT of India. There will also be a maze depicting the ’journey of India’, focusing on the past, present and future – who we were, are and what we aspire to be as a nation,” the official added.
On November 12, the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) 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. A total of 98 entries have been received from which the final design will be chosen.
CPWD’s proposal dated November 12 said the structure so built must “realise the grand vision of Aatmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India), symbolising emerging New India with equitable growth opportunities, rooted in values of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikaas, Sabka Vishwaas (with everyone; for everyone’s progress; and trusted by everyone – one of the mottos of the government) and representing the aspiration of clean India, free from poverty, corruption, terrorism, communalism and casteism”.
The CPWD proposal mandated that only such material and technology should be used to build the structure that would endure like “Ashoka’s edicts, the Iron Pillar in Qutub Minar complex etc.” This was in reference to a competition called by the CPWD to design the “iconic structure.”
“The structure should be iconic in design and represent the national capital. For example, 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 the independent India should now become a new symbol of the national capital,” CPWD’s proposal said.
The Central Vista redevelopment plan, being handled by the Union ministry of housing and urban affairs, also involves having a new Parliament building in place by India’s 75th Independence Day in 2022, while the entire project is slated to be finished by 2024.
Meanwhile, Centre has also narrowed down on five construction firms for the next phase of the Central Vista redevelopment project – the redevelopment and restructuring of the Central Vista Avenue, which includes the majority of the Rajpath stretch and the row of government offices that are parallel to it, HT reported on December 14.
The work on the second phase of the project comes at a time when the apex court last week directed the Centre to immediately stop all construction and ancillary activities in the historically significant Central Vista area of New Delhi where a new Parliament, Central Secretariat and union ministries’ offices are planned to be built. The Supreme Court allowed the government to proceed with the foundation stone laying ceremony on December 10, and paperwork.