Change the house of PM closer to South Block, proposes the architect of Central Vista

NEW DELHI: The architectural firm chosen to design New Delhi suggested moving the residence of Lok Kalyan Marg Prime Minister to where Dalhousie Road shelters are now located, just south of Raisina Hills.

Officials, however, said the final decision on all aspects, including the location of PM House and the new Prime Minister's Office (PMO), will be taken after a more extensive consultation.

The architecture and urban design firm based in Ahmedabad has made the proposal to change the residence of the prime minister in his proposed master plan for the massive renovation of Central Vista (), the construction of a new Parliament and the Central Secretariat.

“We have only completed the first step to select the company that will present the general development plan. The government, the president of Lok Sabha and other high-ranking officials will be consulted before finalizing the complete design and architectural proposals, particularly in relation to the new parliament and office complexes. It is a project of national importance and will go through several rounds of scrutiny, said an official with the Ministry of Urban Affairs. The project is being implemented by the Central Department of Public Works (CPWD) under the Ministry of Urban Affairs.

In the proposed master plan, HCP suggested that the existing parliament could be converted as a Museum of Indian and Northern Democracy and could be used to show India at 75 and The Making of India respectively.

In announcing the name of the selected urban design firm, the Union's urban affairs minister had said that the façade of the North and South Blocks would not be touched and that the existing House of Parliament would not be demolished.

HCP has suggested that the new Parliament may approach the existing one. In fact, even the Lok Sabha secretariat had indicated this while seeking suggestions from acting deputies for either the renovation of the existing Parliament building or the construction of a new Parliament building within the given facilities.

The sources said there is enough space to build a new structure behind the statue of Mahatma Gandhi, which faces the current Parliament building. Currently, this space is used for parking. They added that while the existing parliament has a large open space, the new one could have more urbanized area to accommodate the possibility of more parliamentarians after a new delimitation.

Officials from the Ministry of Urban Affairs said that the HCP conceptual plan was selected considering that the entire proposal was not striking and was close to government requirements. They added that the current height restrictions in the Lutyens area from 26 to 32 meters would be maintained while the redevelopment plan was sealed. Some of the buildings can be razed and even a new Central Conference Center can emerge. Currently, Vigyan Bhawan is used for conferences.

“The general plan is to ensure that there is no ground parking in the entire area and that there is adequate underground parking space to meet the requirement. There could be a low-speed circular installation that can connect all the office buildings that are part of the Central Secretariat, ”said a source.

The government has estimated an expenditure of around Rs 10,000 million and has established March 2024 as the deadline to complete all projects, just two months before the next general election.