NBCC aims high, to develop Delhi plot without govt funds

Written by Rajat Arora | New Delhi | Updated: May 23 2014, 10:28am hrs
Thought skyscrapers are not for Delhi Keeping pace with Gurgaon or Noida or other rapidly urbanising areas in the National Capital Region (NCR), Connaught Place or CP, deemed the heart of New Delhi, will have some of the tallest multi-storey buildings in NCR in the next two-three years.

State-run National Building Construction Corporation (NBCC), assigned to redevelop and modernise the old, British-built government press at Minto Road, has readied a project report, proposing to raise the funds for the same through optimum utilisation of (surplus) land parcels with the press.

The plan is to erect a couple or more high-rise commercial buildings on 30% of the total land area of 6.16 acres with the Minto Road Press and offer the space on a 30-year lease to multinational companies, public sector banks and government departments.

The money raised projected at some R1,200 crore would be used for construction and to redevelop the press. One of the buildings to be built could be tall enough to rival the 24-floor headquarters of the Municipal Corporation of India, Delhis tallest building now and almost a stones throw away from the press premises.

If the plan comes through, many MNCs, cavilling about lack of availability of decent office space in New Delhi, could find a reason to move closer to the powers-that-be with whom they would need to network. The NBCCs plan would also pave the way for a unique symbiosis of New Delhis sprawling Lutyens bungalow zone, reflecting the horizontal nature of the capital, with adjoining areas where relatively taller modern structures get built.

The urban development ministry has a plan to raze and rebuild some of the structures in the Lutyens bungalow zone, without eroding their heritage value.

We will be modernising the government press, which comes under the department of printing, without spending a single rupee from the governments coffers. This would be done by making optimum utilisation of land parcels at the press premises, a senior NBCC official told FE. NBCCs project report is being vetted by the ministry of urban development.

The historic government press at Minto Road near CP was built in 1931 by the British government and the printing work in respect of the Second World War and the Constituent Assembly was done here.

NBCC is also mulling the same model of monetising land to redevelop the Mayapuri government press on Ring Road, which has 16 acres of land.

We are expecting that a lot of government departments, PSUs, banks and state government would be interested in the Mayapuri project due to its location, the NBCC official added.

The model may be used in other cities like Kolkata and Faridabad for modernisation of government presses. If the entire plan materialises, the total funds to be raised would be to the tune of R6,000 crore.