The government has decided to give a makeover to Lutyens' Delhi. The Central Vista, the 3-km stretch from Rashtrapati Bhavan, North and South Block up to India Gate will be redeveloped in the project. The project will also include building a composite complex for various ministries as well as a newly-developed Parliament building. Government sources on Thursday said that the Monsoon Session will be held in the newly-developed Parliament building in 2022.
This project comes as the iconic buildings are nearing the end of its structural lives and need to be revamped.
The government has invited design and architecture firms from across the globe for consultancy works by floating of a request for proposal (RFP) on September 2 for the "development or redevelopment of Parliament Building, Common Central Secretariat and Central Vista."
The government said that consultants should adhere to Central Vista Committee and Lutyens' Bungalow Zone guidelines while carrying out consultancy work for the redevelopment of the Central Vista, it stated.
Sources in the Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry told news agency PTI that the Parliament House building was completed in 1927, which is why its facilities and infrastructure is "inadequate" to meet the current demand.
They also added that there is an acute shortage of office space and no chambers for MPs in the Parliament building. The situation will only aggravate if there is an increase in the number of seats, they added.
"By August 15, 2022, when India celebrates its 75th Independence Day, it will have a new Parliament building. The Monsoon Session of the Parliament in August 2022 will be held in a new or a retrofitted building," a source said told the news agency.
The sources said that by next year, the Central Vista will be redeveloped and the common Central Secretariat will be built by 2024.
"The government has not yet decided whether a new Parliament building will be built or the existing one will be redeveloped at the same place," the source said.
"The government currently spends around Rs 1,000 crore annually to facilitate the functioning of offices of various ministries. If there is a common Central Secretariat, this money can be saved," the source said.
On the redevelopment of the Central Vista, the sources said most of the buildings in the area are more than 40 to 50 years old and have either "outlived" or approaching their structural lives.
The entire Central Vista area will be designed with smart city features to the extent possible, including upgrade of public facilities, amenities and parking, as per a plan.
"Besides, buildings constructed over 100 years ago such as the North and South blocks are not earthquake safe. There is shortage of working spaces, parking, amenities and services.
"The spread of central government ministries and departments in different locations leads to inefficiencies and difficulty in coordination," the source added.
A CPWD official said architects Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker planned the Central Vista of New Delhi and it has the Rashtrapati Bhavan, Parliament House, North and South Block and India Gate among others.
These iconic buildings were constructed between 1911-1931, the year in which the new capital was inaugurated. Thereafter no major building of such exemplary architecture has been constructed.
(With PTI inputs)