The redevelopment plan of the central government involves a new triangular Parliament building, a common central secretariat.
Even as the fate of the Rail Bhawan remains unclear as plans for the redevelopment drive, worth Rs 20,000 crore are yet to be finalized, Indian Railways has given the approval to redesign the Railway Board’s headquarters based on the “aesthetics” of the Central Vista project. Last week, Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri informed the Parliament that the government has not finalized the number of buildings that are to be remodelled or demolished under the Central Visa redevelopment project. The redevelopment plan of the central government involves a new triangular Parliament building, a common central secretariat. Besides, it also includes the renovation of the 3-kilometre-long Rajpath from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate, according to a PTI report.
The Railway Board’s approval to Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL), for the revamping, modernization and renovation of the Rail Bhawan building so as to provide well-ventilated, spacious and clutter-free working ambience was sent on March 22. The Railway Board, in a letter, has provided options for the building and for the renovation of the Rail Bhawan, it has asked the firm to come up with two different plans- one with estimation of cost and timelines for a phased manner renovation while the office is in working mode and the other plan with estimation of cost, as well as timelines for the full renovation to complete in one go, with an alternative place for the Rail Bhawan office till such renovation time.
The Railway Board has also asked the RVNL, in another option, to explore options of moving the building elsewhere. According to the report, the company may study and submit a plan as well with time and cost required for construction of Rail Bhawan’s new building duly identifying the suitable location out of the land bank available with the Northern Railway zone or with the Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry. Thus, overall aesthetics of the upcoming Central Vista Project may be kept in view while developing the above plans. According to Indian Railways officials, approval has been given and they said that the renovations were to ensure that the Rail Bhavan was in line with the Central Vista plan’s design. An official said that this is at a nascent stage only to hire a consultant.
On September 2, a tender was released by the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) calling for proposals for the development or redevelopment of Common Central Secretariat, Parliament Building, and Central Vista. The issued tender is not specific about the structures or buildings that could be demolished. However, the tender mentioned Rail Bhavan under the Common Secretariat section, where various ministries will be housed. As per the tender, these buildings have a shortage of parking, working spaces, amenities and services.