‘Best de­sign com­pe­ti­tion cor­rect way to re­vamp Cen­tral Vista’

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times City - Di­[email protected] times­group.com

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.

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