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Rajpath redevelopment project begins

Minister of State for Housing & Urban Affairs, Civil Aviation and Commerce & Industry Hardeep Singh Puri performing 'Bhoomi Pujan' of Central Vista Avenue, at India Gate, in New Delhi on February 4.   | Photo Credit: PTI

The government’s Central Vista Avenue redevelopment project began on Thursday with Housing and Urban Affairs (HUA) Minister Hardeep Puri performing a “bhoomi pujan” at India Gate, a HUA Ministry statement said.

After the construction of the new Parliament building began last month, the redevelopment of the avenue becomes the second part of the government’s larger Central Vista revamp project to begin.

The avenue, which stretches from North and South Block till India Gate, and includes Rajpath and its lawns and Vijay Chowk, is 3 km long.

“This was originally designed to be a grand processional pathway to the Viceroy’s House during the British Raj. It was appropriated by the people of India and their government at Independence...It is the most frequently visited place and important tourist attraction in Delhi. However, it lacks public amenities like toilets, pathways, designated vending zones, parking, proper lighting, signages etc.,” the Ministry said.

The redevelopment project, which is scheduled to be completed in time for the Republic Day Parade in 2022, would include refurbishment of the landscaping, increasing green cover from 3.5 lakh square metres to 3.9 lakh square metres, and a new irrigation system, the statement said.

Public toilets, drinking water facilities and a vending area would be constructed at 10 spots along the avenue, it said. Underpasses at Janpath and a C-Hexagon crossing with Rajpath would be built, it said. Walkways and bridges over the canals, which would be refurbished, would be constructed to provide better connectivity with the parking and amenities at 12 locations, it said.

For Republic Day celebrations, foldable seating arrangements would be made to replace the temporary structures that are installed and removed every year, it said.

“The objective of the proposal is to make the Avenue an icon that truly befits New India. This will come out to be one of the best Central Vista Avenue[s] of the world,” the Ministry said.

The project will cost ₹608 crore and it has been cleared by the Delhi Urban Art Commission, the Heritage Conservation Committee, the Central Vista Committee and the local body, the Ministry said. The project was awarded to Shapoorji Pallonji & Company Private Limited on January 8.

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Printable version | Apr 14, 2021 10:04:59 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/rajpath-redevelopment-project-begins/article33750092.ece

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