Pragati Maidan Makeover snippets

Pragati Maidan, a Delhi icon since 1972 and venue of the annual trade fair and exhibitions through the year, is finally set to get a Rs.2,000-crore makeover in keeping with the changed profile of the city and the nation.
In the next few months, many buildings in the 115-acre exhibition ground are likely to be razed to make way for new structures such as a convention hall five times larger than Vigyan Bhawan, underground parking, new access roads and exhibition halls.
During phase I of the re-construction project, scheduled to be finished within 36 months, the trade fair will be held in temporary hangar-like structures.
The redevelopment plan was conceptualised in 2006 but work will finally begin in 2016.“Lack of space doesn't allow us to host international fairs at present. After the redevelopment, Pragati Maidan will be come a dream destination for global events,“ said L C Goyal, CMD of India Trade Promotion Organisation. Located in the heart of the city, Pragati Maidan was designed by architect Raj Rewal, who has expressed anger at the decision to bring down all old buildings. Rewal wants a few structures, such as the Hall of Nations, to be conserved.
Goyal said the Rs 2,000 crore work had been divided into two phases, the first of which will be implemented over the next three to four years. “The plan is to redevelop the entire complex for which all existing halls and pavilions have to be dismantled.We do not want to affect our sources of revenue and so we will will stagger the demolition work,“ he said.
PSU National Buildings Construction Corporation has been appointed the project management consultant and will work on designing new structures, inviting bids and supervising the project.“We have issued them the letter and they are going ahead with preparatory work. We will go for international bidding. An independent third party will be appointed to ensure quality of construction.While ITPO will provide Rs.1,000 crore from internal funds, the rest will be raised through institutional financing,“ said Goyal.
He said the convention centre will be a massive structure capable of seating 7,000 people. It will have a plenary hall with a capacity of 3,000 and a functional hall for 4,000 people. When the need arises, both halls could be merged. Goyal said the combined convention centre would be five times the size of Vigyan Bhawan and would be used for big government functions and business events.
“The present convention centres, spread over 3-4 venues, have a capacity of 700-800.The new centre will propel Pragati Maidan into becoming an international venue for exhibitions and events,“ said Goyal.
In the first phase, an existing built-up area of 25,000 sq m will be razed and replaced with a built up area of 1.2 lakh sq m. In phase two, an additional capacity of 88,000 sq m will be built. Each new structure will be two floors high, each floor with an area of 10,000 sq m.
The ITPO board of directors has cleared the project and it is now with the ministry of commerce and industry for final approval. Goyal expects the ministry's nod in the next four to six weeks.

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