The work to complete the Central Vista Avenue is progressing fast, given that it has to be reopened before the 26 January Republic Day parade.

 

New Delhi: With over 60% of physical progress made in the construction of the 3 km long Central Vista Avenue till the first week of December this year, stretching from the Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate, visitors to the Republic Day Parade on 26 January 2022 are likely to see a new and refurbished Rajpath.

Sources in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs say that the work to complete the Central Vista Avenue is progressing fast, given that the avenue has to be reopened before the 26 January Republic Day parade, and that the workers are on a mission mode to complete and deliver the project before deadline.

“There is a slight delay in the completion of the project due to the second Covid-19 wave. It was supposed to be finished by December this year, but the work for the project has picked up speed and is nearing completion. The workers engaged with the project are racing against time and are working day and night to complete it. It has to be completed before 26 January since the parade takes place on the Rajpath,” a senior official with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs told The Sunday Guardian.

The official also said that some parts of the planned Central Vista Project would require some more time to be completed and would be developed and delivered by the middle of next year. However, the official said that the Ministry of Defence has already started preparations for holding the Republic Day parade on the Rajpath.

The Rs 600 crore worth Central Vista Avenue project will completely change the look and feel of the 3 km long Rajpath with wider pedestrian sidewalks, expansive lawns, redeveloped canal sidewalks, improved public amenities, cycle way and separate vending zones.

Post the re-development of the Central Vista the areaoccupied by the lush green lawns is expected to increase from 350,000 square metres to 390,000 square metres, which will in turn increase the overall green around Rajpath. As part of the beautification of the Central Vista area, step-gardens are being built and the existing canals are being given a facelift with walkways and seating areas for visitors to spend their time next to the water.

At least 12 low level bridges are also being constructed over the canals for an aesthetical facelift and better connectivity of the surrounding area.

Officials in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development looking after the Central Vista project told this newspaper that better amenities are being created for visitors to the Rajpath and India Gate by building improved toilets, pedestrian friendly underpass where a transit plaza for visitors is being built.

“Rajpath is plagued by issues like haphazard parking, unorganised vending and traffic snarls due to pedestrian movement. Heavy public use of the landscape has also stressed the lawns of Rajpath, lack of visitor friendly amenities has made the place chaotic. Also, the Republic Day parade organised on Rajpath would lead to temporary installation of structures, in turn damaging the landscape and wasting resources and manpower of the Ministry of Defence. This is being solved by creating a multi utility and modernised facility for national events. Also, a foldable seating facility is being built and installed at the Central Vista Avenue, which can be used for national events like that of the Republic Day.” A senior official from the Housing and Urban Development ministry aware of the project told this newspaper.

The senior official quoted above also said that “While the refurbishment and development of the area was being planned, care has been taken to retain the original character of the place.”

The official further added that, “Not a single tree is being cut and all the trees on Rajpath are intact. In fact more trees are being planted as part of the project.”

Tress like Jamun, Gulmohar, Mango, Neem, Pine species, Silver Oak, Ashok amongst many others will be seen at the Central Vista Avenue. Even flowering plants and shrubs will be a part of the refurbished Central Vista Avenue.

A bus shuttle will be made available to all the visitors to the Rajpath.

The Central Vista Avenue is part of the ambitious Central Vista project of the Narendra Modi government, which aims to create a modern and state of the art complex which would include all the major ministries as part of the Common Central Secretariat building, the new Parliament building, and the Vice President’s house.

While the new Parliament Building, being built at an estimated cost of Rs 971 croreis likely to be completed by October 2022 to seat the winter session of Parliament next year, the Common Central Secretariat is likely to be completed by 2023.