The Union government Saturday formed a high-level ‘Central Vista Oversight Committee’ in a bid to monitor and expedite the pace of the project as the government is rushing to meet the deadlines set for one of Modi government’s most ambitious infrastructure project aimed at redevelopment of the Central Vista or Rajpath, the seat of the power in the national capital.
The committee will be set up for a period of two years and headed by former finance secretary Ratan P Watal and include former Deputy CAG member P K Tiwari, former director at infrastructure firms L&T Shailendar Roy, IIT Delhi faculty member Professor Mausam and a Joint Secretary of the ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs as the convener.
“As the project moves forward, complexities in the implementation are likely to increase. Further, various aspects relating to the project, including development of cultural spaces and seamless coordination between various stakeholders, would need close oversight,” the order issued by the Directorate of Estate under the Urban Affairs Ministry said.
The committee will ensure a multi-agency, multi-stakeholder coordination for seamless integration of different project works, it noted. It will have to continuously monitor the pace of execution of various projects of Central Vista with respect to targeted milestones to ensure their timely completion, the order noted. The committee will meet regularly and undertake site inspections for an independent review. It has also been directed to submit its reports and recommendations to the ministry on a regular basis.
“Central Vista Project has been envisaged as a state-of-the-art integrated development re-development project comprising a new building for the Parliament, Common Central Secretariat buildings, Executive Enclave, additional buildings for National Archives, new IGNCA building, etc. It is an important building project in the country which would recast, rebuild and modernize Government of India’s infrastructure and streamline and synergize administrative functioning in Central Government within the tight time frames,” the order said.
This comes at a time when some of the phases of the project have faced delays, including the PMO and the Prime Minister’s residence.
Work on the new residence and office of the Prime Minister, a part of the Central Vista redevelopment project, will go beyond the December 2022 completion target, The Indian Express reported on November 4. According to the CPWD timeline, the PM’s residence was scheduled to be completed by December 2022. But that is set to change.
“The size and significance of the project requires the use of the latest building technologies and IT systems to make it a truly iconic structure. The work also involves project execution challenges requiring coordination across Ministries, regulatory compliances and effective project management,” it added.
Currently the ambitious project is directly reviewed regularly by Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Puri, Housing ministry secretary Durga Shankar Mishra and senior officers of the Central Public Works Department (CPWD); the project implementing agency.
There is a web-based Central Vista Project Monitoring System which reflects the progress on a real time basis.
The committee has been directed to ensure available resources are being used optimally during the project execution and necessary due diligence regarding costing is done during procurement. “It should ensure high standards in quality of work are maintained and the project follows the Green Building features for sustainable development,” it said.
Earlier this week Infrastructure firms L&T Limited and Tata Projects Limited submitted technical bids for construction of an Executive Enclave that will include a new four-storey building for the Prime Minister’s Office and the offices of Cabinet Secretariat and the National Security Council Secretariat along with a new two-storey ‘India House’ to be built within 24 months of being awarded.
The CPWD on November 9 sought pre-qualification bids for the construction of the Executive Enclave that will house the PMO, India House, Cabinet Secretariat and the National Security Council Secretariat at a cost of Rs 1,171 crore.
Currently the new Parliament building is expected to be completed by the Winter Session of 2022. Central Vista Avenue is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.
The vice president’s enclave and the new Parliament House will be the first buildings to be completed and work on shifting the national museum to the North and South Block will commence last, in the elaborate plan for the Central Vista revamp that requires moving people and offices over the course of the next six years. North and South Block, which house the Union Home, Finance and Defence ministries, apart from the PMO, will be the last to be vacated because these crucial departments will need to be set up in their newly-built offices first.
Under the project, a ‘Nav Bharat Udyan’ is also going to be built on the western banks of Yamuna as a part of the Centre’s plan to extend the Central Vista axis from India Gate till the river.