‘Best design competition correct way to revamp Central Vista’
New Delhi: Over a dozen reputed architecture firms, including Mumbaibased Hafeez Contractor, Delhi-based Raj Rewal Associates and C P Kukreja besides the Ahmedabad firm which designed the Sabarmati waterfront are among those vying for the ambitious Central Vista redevelopment project.
Sources said while several firms, including these participated in the prebid meeting called by the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) recently, many of them have suggested that such a high-profile project should be executed on the basis of “best design solution and concept” rather than awarding the work to the lowest bidder.
The Central Vista encompasses Rajpath and the areas and buildings surrounding it. TOI has learnt that firms such as Morphogenesis and HCP Design, Planning and Management led by Bimal Patel also participated in the prebid meeting. September 30 has been set as the deadline for submitting bids.
Representatives of nine of the potential bidders visited the site on Thursday, which was planned by CPWD to give them first-hand information. On Wednesday, Northern Chapter of Indian Institute of Architects had alleged that CPWD has not shared any data which is required to plan such a major project and called the exercise “vague and open ended”.
The architects affiliated to the IIA had alleged that the government was in a hurry to implement the project. “The CPWD appears to be moving full steam ahead in what seems to be an unseemly haste. This will lead to disastrous consequences as any redevelopment in such a sensitive zone needs to be planned in a holistic manner,” they said.
IIA (Northern Chapter) chairman Shamit Manchanda told TOI that “best design competition” was successful in several projects, including design of the National War Memorial, Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts and even the JNU campus. “We are 100% for redevelopment, but you need to do it systematically to get the best,” he said.
Responding to claims that most structures along Rajpath represented colonial architecture, IIA architects said while Sanchi Stupa was the inspiration for Rashtrapati Bhavan’s dome, the circular shape of Parliament was testimony of the influence of Chausath (64) Yogini temple in Morena, Madhya Pradesh.