“Lutyens architecture was spectacular and there is no doubt about that. However, post-Independence the construction that took place in the vista didn’t have an inspiring vision behind it. There was no comprehensive planning. Today, the structures are incoherent, there’s no grand plans of buildings and precious land is used in an insufficient way,” chief architect of HCP Design, Planning & Management Private Limited, Bimal Patel, said.
The blueprint for redevelopment of the central vista, the ambitious plan that includes setting up of a new Parliament building, bringing all central ministries closer, and redeveloping the existing heritage structures in and around the central vista — has many such proposals to alter the layout of Lutyens’ Delhi.
According to Bimal Patel, head of HCP Design and Planning — the firm that has bagged the contract for creating the blueprint — the project is in line with the original plan created by Lutyens. Consolidating, rationalising and synergising government functions through better office infrastructure is at the heart of this project, he said.
At present, 22 of the 51 union ministries are located in and around the central vista. According to the blueprint, 10 modern buildings along both sides of the Rajpath spread will house all ministries.
The central vista is likely to be extended beyond the Rashtrapati Bhawan to the Mother Teresa Crescent in the west and from the India Gate to the banks of the river Yamuna in the east, according to new changes made to the plan to redevelop the landmark Lutyens neighbourhood that houses India’s legislative and executive power.
Patel says his plan has followed Lutyens’ “Ridge to River” model to commemorate 75 years of India’s independence in 2022. Starting from the ridge of Raisina Hill — the central Delhi plan will connect the area with Yamuna River, where a memorial will be set up to celebrate the 75th anniversary.
In addition, apart from a 48-acre biodiversity park housing all endangered and rare Indian spices behind the President’s estate, North and South Block will be thrown open to the public. These two buildings, once converted into museums on India’s history along with the biodiversity Park, will open up 75 acres of land for public to mark the 75th anniversary, he said.
The sweeping redevelopment, which is being handled by the ministry of housing and urban affairs, is slated to complete a new Parliament by India’s 75th Independence Day in 2022, with the rest of the work scheduled to finish by 2024.