New Delhi: The Central Public Works Department (CPWD) will soon issue financial bids for the construction of a new Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in the capital, as part of an enclave integrating several offices, at a cost of approximately Rs 1,200 crore.
To be built with red and yellow Dholpur sandstone — similar to that used in the new Parliament building — the new PMO will come up on land where defence offices were located in hutments and barracks near South Block. The defence offices have already been shifted to two new office complexes on Africa Avenue and Kasturba Gandhi Marg.
The PMO will be part of what is being called the high-security Executive Enclave, which will also have offices of the cabinet secretariat, National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS) and office spaces attached to the PM’s residence.
India House, an independent structure with facilities for hosting state guests, will also be part of the Executive Enclave, a spokesperson for HCP Design, Planning and Management Limited, the Gujarat-based firm that won the bid to design the Central Vista Redevelopment Project, told ThePrint.
A new residence for the Prime Minister will also be built, but the design for it is yet to be finalised, government sources said. The sources added that the CPWD, the construction wing of the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, will issue the financial bids for the Executive Enclave shortly. The housing ministry is piloting the Central Vista Redevelopment project.
“The first stage of the pre-qualification process is already on. Because it’s a high-security project, we are doing a two-stage bid process. Technical bids were issued in November last year. Only the qualified bidder will now be allowed to participate in the financial bid,” a senior housing ministry official said.
Once the tender is awarded and work starts, it will take 24 months to complete the Executive Enclave project.
The existing PMO is housed in South Block, which will be eventually converted into a museum.
What the new PMO & Executive Enclave will look like
According to the project architects, the Executive Enclave will comprise multiple buildings, arranged in two facing, triangular plots. It will be an integrated complex, which will consolidate the PMO, the Cabinet Secretariat and the NSCS offices.
“It will consolidate several important functions in one complex. The way these offices presently function, from distant locations, impede interactions amongst staff and cause disruptions to city traffic movement,” the HCP spokesperson said.
The Prime Minister’s Office will be housed in rectangular buildings, with internal courtyards. The National Security Council Secretariat and the Cabinet Secretariat will be linear buildings across a garden.
The Executive Enclave will be able to accommodate approximately 1,700 members of staff, across all buildings, which will be designed to incorporate all required security arrangements. The new facilities will also be equipped with the latest infrastructure and technology, according to the spokesperson.
Each building, i.e. the Prime Minister’s Office, the NSCS, Cabinet Secretariat and India House, will be equipped with conference rooms according to their requirements. All buildings will have open floor layouts for workspaces.
The Executive Enclave will be a green complex, with the buildings designed to be energy efficient, the HCP spokesperson said. There will be a series of courtyards inside the buildings to maximise natural light and ventilation.
“The exterior walls will be thicker, and openings will use two layers (glass and screen) to reduce heat gain. Terraces will be equipped with rainwater harvesting systems. Recycled water from sewage treatment plans will be used for landscape irrigation. The buildings will make use of efficient air conditioning systems and centralised garbage disposal systems,” the spokesperson added.
Work also underway on office complexes, Vice President’s House
Currently, under the Central Vista Redevelopment Project, work is underway to build a new Parliament and the Central Vista Avenue on Rajpath. The CPWD has also floated tenders for construction of three office complexes, part of the new Common Central Secretariat that will come up at the site where the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts was earlier located. Tenders have also been awarded for a new Vice President’s House.
The Central Vista revamp plan, one of the most ambitious projects of the Narendra Modi government to give Delhi’s power corridor a complete makeover — which has faced much criticism — will also include 10 new building blocks to accommodate government offices, including Shastri Bhavan, Nirman Bhavan, Udyog Bhavan, Krishi Bhavan and Vayu Bhavan.
(Edited by Rohan Manoj)