In news: Recently, MoS(I/C) for Housing & Urban Affairs performed the Bhoomi Poojan ceremony of Central Vista Avenue
Government approved a proposal for development of Central Vista Avenue with estimated cost of Rs.608 crores on 10th November, 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.
About the 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. It was appropriated by the people of India and their government at Independence.
- 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
- 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 a long time and during that time most of the area become inaccessible to the public.
- Therefore, the government has decided to address these by refurbishing and improving the avenue, as part of the comprehensive transformation of the Central Vista
- With the Bhoomi Poojan ceremony, the work has started for the development/ Redevelopment of Central Vista Avenue.
Objective of the Central Vista Avenue proposal
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
How the redevelopment will be done?
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.
Key components of of development work under Phase-I include;
- Refurbishing of Landscaping and lawns. Green cover being increased from 3,50,000 sqm to about 3,90,000 sqm. Proper irrigation system will be provided
- Proper public amenities with toilets, drinking water facilities and vending areas are being provided at 10 locations for visitors and tourists.
- Make it more pedestrian friendly with underpasses being provided at Janpath and C-Hexagon crossing with Rajpath.
- Adequate walkways being provided along Rajpath canals. Walkways across lawns with low level bridges over canals are being provided to ensure better connectivity with parking, public amenities at 12 suitable locations.
- Canals are being refurbished with proper lining and aerators are being provided to keep the water clean.
- Sewerage Treatment Plant for recycling of waste water.
- Adequate parking space for cars, two wheelers, buses etc.
- Signages, lighting, CCTV cameras, drainage, rain water harvesting, water supply system.
- Foldable seating arrangement to reduce time taken for installation and removal of temporary seating arrangement during Republic Day Celebrations.
Central Vista Redevelopment Project
The Central government has announced plans to redevelop the Central Vista, which is an iconic 3 km stretch in the heart of New Delhi that runs from the Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate.
The redevelopment entails altering some structures and demolishing certain buildings within the Parliament complex, modifying the National Archives and constructing several new buildings along the Central Vista, including residences for the prime minister and vice president, completely altering its layout. It is proposed by the Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry and its construction agency, the CPWD.
About new Central Vista structure
- As per the master plan, Central Vista axis — currently from Rashtrapati Bhavan, following Rajpath, up to India Gate — will be extended from the present 2.9 km to 6.3 km from ridge to river.
- This structure will be taller than India Gate meant to withstand the vagaries of nature and remain as such for millennia to represent the current age
- The structure and design of the central vista will be decided by open competition, and it will be designed by an Indian
- It will house the Nav Bharat Udyan or the New India Garden.
- The structure is meant to be unveiled on August 15, 2022, the 75th year of Independence.
- As per the Central Public Works Department(CPWD), the government intends the structure to be “timeless” and requires such material and technology to be used that it “lasts for eras like Ashoka’s edicts, Iron Pillar in Qutub Minar complex etc”
- The structure’s size can be three times the height of India Gate as the maximum height permissible there is 134 metres from ground level
- The design should take into account factors like soil stability, wind velocity, seismic forces and vulnerability to flooding etc. as per National Building Code of India, 2016.
- Only indigenous material is to be used as part of Atmanirbhar Bharat
- CPWD also said that the design of the structure should signify “New India”. clean and free from poverty, corruption, terrorism, communalism, casteism.
- It may further symbolise new developments like digital India, skilled India, fit India, etc coupled with energy, dynamism and transformational ethos