Govt. approves land use change for new Parliament, PM house

Considered all 1,292 objections/suggestions: Housing Ministry

The Centre on Friday notified the change in land use for seven plots in the Master Plan for Delhi-2021, paving the way for the redevelopment of Rajpath and the construction of a new Parliament House and Prime Minister’s residence.

The government had announced in October 2019 its plan to revamp the 3-km-long Central Vista from Rashtrapati Bhavan till India Gate, construct a new Parliament and develop a new Central secretariat along the stretch.

In addition, the consultant hired for the project, Ahmedabad-based HCP Design, Planning and Management, has proposed to construct new residences for the Prime Minister and Vice-President near South and North Blocks.

According to the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs’ notification, a total of 1,292 objections/suggestions had been received from the public after the Delhi Development Authority notified its intention to change the land use on December 21, 2019. The notification said the Board of Enquiry and Hearing set up by the DDA had considered these objections/suggestions. It added that the Central government had “after carefully considering all aspects of the matter” decided to modify the masterplan as well as the zonal development plans.

A 9.5-acre plot

Among the plots modified is a 9.5-acre plot opposite the existing Parliament that had earlier been earmarked for “recreational” use and will now be the site for the construction of a new triangle-shaped Parliament House. Four plots were changed from “public and semi-public” use to “government office”, which will become the sites for new office buildings for the Central government.

A 15-acre plot earlier meant for “government office” and “recreational” use near South Block was modified to be used for “residential” purposes, which according to the draft proposal by architect Bimal Patel, director of HCP, will be the site of the Prime Minister’s residence. The PM currently lives at 7, Lok Kalyan Marg.

While all the other modified plots are in the heart of Lutyens’ Delhi, a 3.9-acre plot in Timarpur was changed from recreational to district park.

Green areas

In a statement, the Ministry said: “This paves the way for the construction of new Parliament building and other projects in the prestigious Central Vista project. This decision will ensure that the green areas and public and semi-public spaces are adequately compensated or enhanced.”

Among those who had objected to the land-use change was the Indian Institute of Architects’ Northern Chapter, whose chairman Shamit Manchanda said the government’s decision was “saddening”.

“What is saddening is that there have been no answers given to all the hundreds of objections raised against the change of land use. No studies as to the environmental, traffic and ecological impact of this massive project, if done, have been shared. This is something the citizens of the country must get an answer to,” he said.

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Printable version | May 30, 2020 8:27:23 PM |

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