Montek for replacing buildings of Central Delhi

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New Delhi, Dec 21 (UNI) Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia today said he has suggested to the Urban Development Ministry to replace the buildings of central Delhi, housing various Ministries and government offices, with those symbolising modern India and green technology.

''These buildings are not energy efficient. By 2047, the climate change being talked about these days would have happened.

We should have buildings which would be able to deal with the climate change of that time,'' said Ahluwalia.

The Urban Development Ministry had referred his suggestion to the Delhi Urban Arts Commission, he said, while speaking at the release of a book 'Legends of the Indian Construction Industry' by the Builders Association of India here.

Dr Ahluwalia regretted that good buildings made after India's independence were only those constructed in the private sector and not the public sector. ''The fault lies with us. We do not want EPC contract and transfer risk on the contractor. We wanted to construct buildings that were much cheaper. It is due to the quality of the government-driven projects that the construction of these buildings is so appalling.'' He also lamented that since the government did not budget a project like private companies, it was inevitable that the revised costs were three to four times higher.

Lauding the impressive structure and the quality of Rashtrapati Bhawan and the buildings of North and South Blocks, he recalled Mahatma Gandhi's suggestion to convert Rashtrapati Bhawan into a hospital as it was too luxurious for a poor country like India.

He asserted that he did want to replace the Bhawans of Central Delhi but not with replicas of the buildings of North and South Blocks but with something modern and in keeping with the green technology.

Speaking on the occasion, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit disclosed that the Builders Association Of India had demanded a council for all the builders and the construction companies. ''I agree that we need to become disciplined and responsive to the innovations taking place in the world.'' She particularly emphasised the need for housing construction in the present times, saying, ''India has lacked in this field.

The poor are living without homes.'' Mrs Dikshit also lauded the construction companies and said had it not been for them, Delhi would not have what it is today - a truly international city.

UNI

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