NEW DELHI: Ahmedabad-based architecture and urban design firm HCP Design has been picked to prepare the massive revamp of the Central Vista (Rajpath), construction of a new Parliament and central secretariat — a plan that aims at creating a new official district for several ministries and offices. Sources said the value of all construction and allied works could be around Rs 10,000 crore and the government has set March 2024 as the deadline for completing all projects, two months before the next general elections.
The firm, HCP Design, Planning and Management (P) Ltd, which has designed several projects in India and abroad, including the redevelopment of Ahmedabad’s Sabarmati riverfront, bagged the contract on technical and financial parameters ahead of three other firms. HCP director Bimal Patel told TOI that his firm had done “some work” in the BJP headquarter project in Delhi. Patel said HCP will complete the task of preparing a plan in six months. The government will subsequently bid out the civil construction works. The idea behind the revamp, apart from better utilisation of the area and getting rid of some of the ageing and crowded buildings, is to create a modern architecture more associated with independent India, as a succession from the Lutyens’ era masonry around Vijay Chowk. Urban affairs ministry officials said HCP scored high on technical parameters though it had quoted the second lowest amount in its financial bid. While HCP quoted Rs 229 crore, runner-up C P Kukreja Architects had pitched its bid at Rs 218 crore.Housing and urban affairs minister Hardeep Singh Puri said the “competition was close” among all four short-listed bidders and a jury of experts chose the firm that scored the highest. Since the project management contract is primarily for design, 80% weightage was given to quality and 20% to costs.Puri said there is no question of razing any heritage structure. “All history and culture will be preserved while undertaking the revamp project. I assure you that North Block, South Block and Parliament House will remain as they are but their use may change… The project will be implemented under the direct control and supervision of the government. The selected firm will hold public consultation with all stakeholders,” he said.Housing secretary Durga Shankar Misra said inputs and suggestions from all other architecture firms who made it to the final list would be incorporated since this of national importance. He said, “I have held meetings with two of the bidders and went through their presentation. I will go through the presentations of other four on Monday. This is a big opportunity to have the best world class facilities.”Responding to a question whether HCP had the experience in designing the development plan involving heritage areas, Puri said, “Heritage experts would be brought in when the project is implemented. Domain experts and architects would be hired as associates to implement this project.” Patel said experts will be involved and their firm was the project management consultant for redevelopment of the temple complex in Varanasi. HCP has been tasked with preparing a site survey plan, executing a geo-technical survey and feasibility study, developing a new master plan and devising a strategy to execute the work besides designing building plans. It will also be responsible for obtaining statutory approvals, preparing landscape plans, designing all services and amenities and traffic integration plan. Moreover, it will measure the air quality management during and after construction, parking facilities and solid waste management plan.