The 3-kilometre-long Central Vista Avenue is ready to welcome people. After several delays over the past eight months, the avenue which runs from Vijay Chowk to India Gate is awaiting a final date of inauguration.
“The work on the stretch is complete and should be inaugurated soon. The minister is not in the country so far and the inauguration date will be finalised once he is back on Monday,” said an official from the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, which is headed by Hardeep Puri.
The Central Vista project includes the new Parliament building, Chambers for Members of Parliament, the Central Vista Avenue, ten buildings of the Common Central Secretariat, Central Conference Centre, Additional Buildings for National Archives (other than Heritage Building), new IGNCA building, facilities for security officials, and official residences for the Vice President, and the PM of India, Executive Enclave with Prime Minister’s Office, Cabinet Secretariat, National Security Council Secretariat and the relocation of National Museum in North and South Block. The project design is being carried out by architect Bimal Patel’s firm HCP Designs.
According to sources, the walkways, lawns, kiosks and parking area have been ready for several weeks, but the four underpasses, which will help in seamless accessibility, were ready a few days ago.
The Republic Day parade this year was held on the stretch but the whole avenue was not open to the public. Puri had said in January last year that heavy rains caused some delays in the project. Thereafter, officials said that there was a likelihood of the avenue being thrown open in July.
Under the plan, the open lawn space is set to increase from 3,50,000 square metres to around 3,90,000 square metres, the footpaths have been widened, and walkways over the canal have been created.
Efforts have also been made to create more space for parking, which was a nightmare at India Gate, with space being set aside for around 1,000 cars, officials said.
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Those involved with the construction work said that care has been taken to maintain the original look of the stretch, with red sandstone being used, and the bollards and chain links being reused.
“There is now more space for the public to sit as stone benches have been set up at several places. Kiosks for food have also been given designated space so that there is less chaos. We are hoping that the chaos and crowding at Delhi’s favourite hangout spot will now be managed better,” said an official who did not want to be named.