Delhi

60% of Rajpath revamp completed as deadline looms

Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs Kaushal Kishore. File
Damini Nath New Delhi 02 December 2021 18:00 IST
Updated: 02 December 2021 19:47 IST

With deadline of October 2022, 35% of new Parliament building completed so far

Of the work of redeveloping the Central Vista Avenue, which had a deadline of December 2021, 40% was still pending, with the Republic Day Parade less than two months away, according to information given by the government to the Lok Sabha on Thursday.

Replying to a question by Congress MP Manish Tewari, Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs Kaushal Kishore said the redevelopment of Central Vista Avenue had achieved 60% physical progress. So far, the government had incurred a cost of ₹190.76 crore out of the estimated total cost of ₹608 crore, the reply stated.

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On the new Parliament building, the Minister said 35% of the work had been completed at a cost of ₹340.58 crore out of the total cost of ₹971 crore. The project was estimated to be completed by October 2022.

The Minister’s reply comes a week after the Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry set up a Central Vista Oversight Committee on November 25. Ministry officials had earlier said that the unusual amount of rain during the monsoon had led to delays, leading to an increase in the workforce at the sites. While the Central Vista Avenue has to be completed before Republic Day, the new Parliament is supposed to be ready in time for the Winter Session next year.

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According to the office memorandum setting up the committee, one of its tasks would be to continuously monitor the “pace of execution of various projects of Central Vista with respect to targeted milestones to ensure their timely completion”. When asked why the committee was set up, a Ministry spokesperson had said it was for “independent continuous and holistic monitoring”. On Thursday, the spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment on if the projects were running behind schedule.

Asked about the progress, the Centre’s consultant for the Central Vista project, HCP Design, Planning and Management, said: “The construction of the new Parliament building is on schedule. The Central Vista Avenue is facing a slight delay due to Covid and unexpected rainfall.”

In a written response to The Hindu, the Ahmedabad-based firm said the Parliament building would meet the “scheduled deadline of November 2022” as per the “present pace”.

“The contractors are working hard and deploying additional resources to meet the deadlines for the Central Vista Avenue. All components necessary for the 2022 Republic Day Parade will be ready in time. The underpasses and a few amenity blocks will be completed shortly after,” the firm said.

HCP also “welcomed” the setting up of the oversight committee and said it would “extend all cooperation from our side to ensure that the goals of quality and timely construction are met”.

Meanwhile, two other projects that are a part of the larger Central Vista revamp — construction of three buildings of the Common Central Secretariat (CCS) and the Vice-President’s residence — were in the stage of “mobilisation of resources and site preparation”. The CCS project would cost an estimated ₹3,690 crore till its targeted completion in November 2023, of which ₹7.85 crore had been spent so far, the reply said. The V-P residence that is scheduled to be completed by November 2022 would cost ₹208.48 crore in total, of which ₹15 crore had been incurred so far, it said.

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The Minister said ₹1,289 crore had been allocated for the various Central Vista projects in the financial year 2021-2022.

“The ongoing works at the Central Vista have provided direct livelihood opportunities to more than 10,000 skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled workers on-site and off-site and generated more than 24.12 lakh man days of employment. In addition, substantial employment in manufacturing and transportation of cement, steel and other building materials have been provided. These works...will contribute to the economy of the country and will help realise our resolve for Aatmanirbhar Bharat,” the Minister said.

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