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Pragati Maidan Makeover Plan Looks Amateurish January 30, 2016

Posted by simarp in : Delhi , trackback

My first recall of Pragati Maidan is of Asia 72, I was barely 7 years old and I remember there was space pavilion and something about Man on moon. My creativity and story telling made me tell numerous stories about how I saw soil from moon and thus formed a relationship which kept on getting renewed year after year.

We have been hearing about a makeover of Pragati Maidan since ever, but now it looks like things are firming up. Am I loving it, no. And this is why?

A makeover of 126 acre Pragati Maidan would have an underground parking provision of 5,000 cars, something is wrong. Either someone doesn’t know Delhi, or Parking Issues or footfall in Pragati Maidan – maybe all the three. Planning anything less than an underground parking facility of over 50.000 cars would simply be too myopic a plan to execute. One hall absorbs more than 10,000 cars, someone is absolutely out of sync with what happens every year during trade fair (IITF)  and why Autoexpo had to be moved to Greater Noida.

Coming to space created, it would have only 1.2 Million Square feet of space, which translates to FAR of 1:.25, on such a large project it is a gross wastage of space. The project must plan over 5 Million Square Feet instead of 1.2 Million Square Feet being planned. They are planning one convention center to accommodate 7,000, why not three more for 5,000, 3,000 and 2,000 respectively. Very few international capitals have this huge exhibition space in the heart of the city, using it to its fullest has to be a priority with the government.

This project envisages bringing iconic architectural marvel like Hall of Nations down, what is the point. It has been a Pragati Maidan identifier and it has seen progress happen and enabled progress to happen. It is a great design and there is no need to raze it now. There is enough free space and you can always add, why destroy to add and build anew when space is not a constraint.

I hope better senses prevail and heritage is not destroyed just for the heck of it and a new form and shape is added for it to stand apart as one of the great exhibition grounds in the world.





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