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DDA approves land-use change for Central Vista
Hindustan Times  |  December 12, 2019

Risha Chitlangia New Delhi

The suggestion to shift the Prime Minister’s residence closer to South Block from its present location at Lok Kalyan Marg may become be a reality.


The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) on Wednesday changed the land use of a 15-acre plot from recreational to residential on Dalhousie Road near South Block, where the PM’s new residence has been suggested by the firm ed to redesign the Central Vista.A recreational plot is meant for district parks.


The 15-acre plot on Dalhousie Road houses old hutments, which are owned by the Defence establishment, a senior official said. HCP Design, Planning and Management Pvt Ltd, the Ahmedabad-based firm appointed as the consultant for the Central Vista Project, has suggested the shifting of PM’s residence closer to South Block on Dalhousie Road, while bidding for the project.


The land-owning agency has also approved the change in land use of six other plots spread over 86 acres in the Lutyens’ Bungalow Zone (LBZ) for the implementation of the Centre’s ambitious Rs 12,000-crore project, which aims to redevelop Central Vista.


The decision was taken at a DDA meeting chaired by Delhi lieutenant-governor Anil Baijal. The proposal to change the land use of these seven plots, where new government offices will be constructed, was made by Land and Development Office (L&DO), which falls under the Union ministry of housing and urban affairs (HUA).


While the change in the land use has been made, the final project will only be approved by the ministry after consultation.


“We had got a proposal from L&DO for a change in the land use of seven plots, necessary for the redevelopment of Central Vista. The proposal has been approved and will be notified by the Centre,” Vijender Gupta, DDA member and leader of the opposition in the Delhi Assembly, said.


Senior officials at the Union housing and urban affairs ministry and central public works department (CPWD), the nodal agency for the project, were tight-lipped about the development.


According to senior officials, tenders for the project will be floated in the next few months as construction is likely to start by May next year.


According to the deadline set by the HUA ministry, the new state-of-the-art Parliament House Building will be completed by July 2022. It will be spread over an area of 9.5 acres. DDA approved the proposal to change the land use of the plot from recreational to Parliament House. Further, the land use of plots, which house establishments such as Vigyan Bhawan (spread over 24.7 acres), National Archives (7.7 acres) and Rakha Bhawan (4.5 acres), have also been changed from public and semi-public to government offices and space is allocated for the development of district parks.


This will now be put in the public domain for suggestions/objections and later notified by the HUA ministry.


“The land-use changes approved by DDA will be in public domain for a period of 30 days. In case, we get some objections then a Board of Inquiry will be constituted. The final notifications will be published by the ministry,” said a senior DDA official.


Urban planners say there should be detailed public consultation on the project.


“We will have to look at the proposed land-use changes before commenting on it. But the government should have a detailed public consultation on the project,” said KT Ravindran, urban designer and former chairperson of the Delhi Urban Art Commission.