Government draws up plan to begin the construction of Central Secretariat

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The government is drawing up an elaborate plan to begin the construction of the Central Secretariat.

After awarding the contract for the construction of a new Parliament building, the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) has moved to the elaborate plan of constructing the Central Secretariat. According to sources, the government has given up its initial plan of first moving out offices to an alternate location, demolishing old buildings and then starting the construction of the new secretariat. The new plan is to begin construction on the largest plot of land and then shift offices from Bhawans to the newly- constructed structure.

Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts (IGNCA) on Janpath Road, which is the largest plot of land, will be demolished at first. Then part of the Central Secretariat would be constructed. Sources said ministries housed in Shastri Bhawan and Krishi Bhawan would then be shifted to the newly-constructed offices. The two Bhawans would then be demolished. “This would be the first part of the plan. The newly-constructed buildings would have enough space to accommodate the ministries that will be shifted. Earlier the plan was to shift offices to another location, demolish buildings and then begin construction.

This would have caused major dislocation of government offices and even disruption of traffic,” said a senior government official involved with the planning process. CPWD, the nodal agency for implementation of the three-phase Central Vista redevelopment project, had earlier planned to shift offices in phases. However, after internal discussions, it was felt that this kind of office space would not be available anywhere in the national capital. At the same time, undertaking large-scale construction at the heart of Delhi would have meant traffic disruption and pollution.

While Krishi Bhawan and Shastri Bhawan would be demolished, the neighbouring National Archives would be redeveloped but not demolished. The new buildings are expected to be energy efficient with more space. Many ministries are now spread across 3-4 office buildings in numerous localities. A senior official told ET, “Once the first building is constructed and offices of the two Bhawans are ready to be shifted, there would be more office spaces available in other places such as Bhikaji Cama Place and R K Puram as the ministries would be housed in one place. These would also shift to the heart of Delhi.”

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