Work has started on the redevelopment of Central Vista Avenue, the area surrounding Rajpath, with the Bhoomi Pujan (Ground Breaking) ceremony. Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs, Hardeep Singh Puri performed the puja on Thursday.
In a statement the Minister said that with this ceremony, the work has started for the development and redevelopment of Central Vista Avenue. “The Central Vista Avenue starting from North and South Block to India Gate, that includes the Rajpath, its adjoining lawns and canals, rows of trees, Vijay Chowk and the India Gate plaza is a three-km long stretch,” it said.
It stated that this was originally designed to be a grand processional pathway to the Viceroy’s House during the British Raj.
According to the statement, some modifications were carried out in Central Vista Avenue after Independence, the landscape was altered, new rows of trees were added in the 1980s, a new road Rafi Ahmad Kidwai Marg was constructed to improve north-south connectivity.
Taking to Twitter, Puri said, “Preparing India’s rich cultural heritage for the future! Another step in the momentous Central Vista redevelopment project. Delighted to perform the Ground Breaking Ceremony & Bhoomi Poojan of Central Vista Avenue today.”
Preparing India’s rich cultural heritage for the future!Another step in the momentous Central Vista redevelopment project.Delighted to perform the Ground Breaking Ceremony & Bhoomi Poojan of Central Vista Avenue today. pic.twitter.com/2aPHG4gZl8
— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) February 4, 2021
The Government approved the proposal for development of Central Vista Avenue at an estimated cost of Rs 608 crore on November 10 last year. The requisite permissions from the Delhi Urban Arts Commission, Heritage Conservation Committee, Central Vista Committee, Local Body have been obtained.
The development work in Phase-I includes the refurbishing of the landscaping and lawns by increasing the green cover from 3,50,000 square metres to about 3,90,000 square metres. “Proper irrigation systems will be provided, public amenities with toilets, drinking water facilities and vending areas are being provided at 10 locations for visitors and tourists. Making it more pedestrian friendly with underpasses being provided at Janpath and C-Hexagon crossing with Rajpath,” the ministry said.
Adequate walkways are also being provided along Rajpath, along with canals to ensure better connectivity with parking and public amenities at 12 suitable locations. Canals are being refurbished with proper lining with aerators to keep the water clean.
The first phase work also includes adequate parking space for cars, two wheelers, buses, signages, lighting, CCTV cameras, drainage, rain water harvesting and a water supply system. It will have foldable seating arrangements to reduce the time taken for installation and removal of temporary seating during Republic Day celebrations.