New Delhi, Jan 13: The Supreme Court of India has recently cleared the Central Vista Project through which the reconstruction of the Parliament complex will be undertaken. The project covers a three kilo meter stretch between the Rashtrapati Bhavan and India Gate. Following the approval of the Supreme Court, the Heritage Conservation Committee has also approved the construction of a new parliament. A 14-member Heritage panel approved the project for construction of a new parliament building under the government’s ambitious Central Vista redevelopment plan.
Regarding the renovation work, the Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said construction of the new parliament building would not affect the existing structure, which was the primary concern of the Heritage Committee. The Union Housing and Urban Affairs Secretary Durga Shanker Mishra said that the committee, headed by the Ministry’s additional Secretary has granted approval to the construction of the new parliament building after examining and discussing the proposal.
The Heritage Conservation Committee is set up under the Chairmanship of Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Urban Affairs under the provisions of Section 23 in Delhi Building Byelaws, 1983 in order to protect heritage buildings. Only buildings in and around Delhi are governed by these laws. Similar conservation committees are set up at state levels as well. The local authority are compelled to consult the Heritage Conservation Committee before granting permission to any project that tackles with heritage property. The Heritage Conservation Committee grades the heritage buildings considering their developmental activities.
The Heritage Conservation Committee offers three grades; Grade I: The buildings under Grade I includes buildings of historic importance. No interventions are permitted either on the interior or exterior of the Heritage buildings unless it is essential in the interest of strengthening the life of the building, Grade II: These buildings comprise of regional or local importance processing architectural merit or historical significance. Internal changes are allowed in these buildings. Also, adaptive reuse shall be allowed and Grade III: It comprises of buildings that evoke architectural or sociological interest. Both internal changes and adaptive reuse of these buildings are allowed.
The important point all through the while regarding the criticism against the Central Vista Project was never about Heritage Conservation but the question that whether the govt really needs a new parliament building. However, during Supreme Court had made appropriate investigation in that regard and already approved the plan. The Heritage Conservation Committee has also now approved the plan on the grounds of heritage conservation.