The central public works department (CPWD) has finalised the architecture firm and deadline for redeveloping the Parliament complex and the central vista of the capital. The mammoth project that involves setting of a central secretariat complex, housing all central government departments and ministries, and redeveloping the old Parliament building or setting up a new structure is aimed to be complete by March, 2024.
While the deadline for redevelopment of central vista – the three kilometer stretch between India Gate and Rashtrapati Bhawan on Raisina Hill – has been set at November 2021. The Parliament is expected to be ready by March 2022. The third phase of the grand project – setting up a central secretariat complex – is expected to be finished two years after that.
While developmental work will be overseen by CPWD, it has chosen HCP Design, Planning & Management Pvt. Ltd. (HCPDPM) –an Ahmedabad-based architecture firm as consultant for the project. After revisiting the master plan for the central Delhi area, HCPDPM is now responsible for coming up with new designs and/or alterations that will be required for the project.
The process of selection of an architectural consultant began in early-September, when invitation for bid was issued by CPWD. Later on 12 September, a pre-bid meeting was held where 24 bidders participated. The technical bids were opened two weeks later.
While, in total six bids were received, after examining the initial eligibility and technical parameters, all bidders were asked to make their presentations on October 11– to explain their respective approach and methodology. A jury consisting of reputed architects and landscape designers, and headed by Prof P S N Rao, director, School of Planning & Architecture and chairman Delhi Urban Art Commission, studied the proposals. HCPDPM was finally selected from four shortlisted bidders.
The cost of consultancy has been set at Rs 229.75 crore.
HCPDPM, the architecture firm that has been chosen as the consultant for the project which Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of Housing, termed as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “dream project”, has so far worked in several high profile projects like redevelopment of the Eden Gardens stadium in Kolkata in 1986, Gujarat High Court in 1992 and the temple complex in Varanasi.
The deadlines set for each phase are not without a rationale. For the Parliament complex for example, the deadline is set at March 2022. As the government plans to hold the monsoon session in 2022 — marking India’s 75th independence — in a new Parliament complex.
However, the existing Parliament building and the North and South Block structures will not be demolished. “These are iconic buildings. Thus, even if we decide to not use them for their stated purposes, they will stay,” a senior government official said.
Modernisation will require vacating the buildings for over a year. Over four dozen central government ministries and departments, employing over 70,000 employees, are scattered across Delhi.
The new Parliament building is expected to have a capacity of accommodating more than 1,000 members of Parliaments, private chambers for all MPs, and offices for ministers and secretaries. Further, the buildings will be fitted with solar panels, low electricity consuming electronic sittings, and will have dedicated parking areas.