(MoS(I/C) for Housing & Urban Affairs  Hardeep S Puri)

Speed Post News Network

New Delhi : The Bhoomi Poojan ceremony of Central Vista Avenue was performed by Hardeep S Puri, MoS(I/C) for Housing & Urban Affairs, in the presence of Durga Shanker Mishra, Secretary, MoHUA, DG, CPWD, and senior officers of the Ministry at India Gate, New Delhi, here  on February 4, 2021.

With this ceremony, the work has started for the development/ Redevelopment of Central Vista Avenue. The Central Vista Avenue starting from North & South Block to India Gate, that includes the Rajpath, its adjoining lawns and canals, rows of tree, Vijay Chowk, and the India Gate plaza is a 3 km long stretch. This was originally designed to be a grand processional pathway to the Viceroy’s House during the British Raj, according to a PIB release.

Some modifications were carried out in Central Vista Avenue after independence; the landscape was altered, new rows of trees were added in the 1980’s, a new road Rafi Ahmad Kidwai Marg was constructed to improve north-south connectivity. Annual Republic Day Celebrations (RDC) are held on this avenue every year. Other important functions like International Yoga Day, Indian Food festival, Paryatan Parv, Odia Parv, and Prakram Parv are also held here annually. It has very high footfalls. 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. Its lawns and water canals are in depleted condition as they were not planned for heavy public use and have now become increasingly stressed. The Republic Day arrangements take long time and during that time most of the area become inaccessible to public.

The government has decided to address these by refurbishing and improving the avenue as part of the comprehensive transformation of the Central Vista. 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 of the world. It will be achieved by refurbishing, strengthening and restoring the avenue’s landscape and tree cover; providing amenities that make it comfortable for civic users and tourists to use and; making it more pedestrian friendly and easier for traffic to negotiate. The design also provides space and facilities for vendors, ensures that arrangements for national events cause minimal disruption, and ensures integrity and continuity of the Vista’s original layout, its geometries and its architectural character.

​The Government approved a proposal for development of Central Vista Avenue with estimated cost of Rs 608 crores on November 10, 2020. Requisite permissions from Delhi Urban Arts Commission, Heritage Conservation Committee, Central Vista Committee, Local Body etc. have been obtained.

Central Public Works Department (CPWD) has been entrusted to carry out this important work. Phase-I work of development was awarded by CPWD to one of the major construction companies M/s Shapoorji Pallonji Company (Pvt) Limited with the cost of Rs 477 crores through competitive bidding on January 8, 2021, and work started  on February 4, 2021.

Adequate measures will be taken up to mitigate environment pollution during the construction/retrofitting work with focus on water conservation and use.