A fresh restoration plan for the iconic 150-year-old Town Hall in Old Delhi is on the cards
The NDMC has set the ball rolling for hiring a consultant for preparing a fresh restoration plan for the iconic 150-year-old Town Hall in Old Delhi and is likely to float a tender by next week.
The redevelopment plan seeks a conservation of the Victorian-era mansion that will house a museum, retelling the history of Delhi, the centre-piece of the attractions that are to be built.
A craft baazar, a dancing fountain, a maze, light and sound programmes, street food, children activity area, a boutique hotel, food court, courtyard and sculpture garden, digital library, lecture rooms, fine dining areas, are also to be developed in its premises.
"The process had already begun. We have prepared the RFP (Request For Proposal) for the project for inviting bids from consultants and the tender for selecting the consultant should be out by next week," a senior official of the NDMC told PTI.
After its Centre-funded restoration plan got shelved, the North Delhi Municipal Corporation has decided to redevelop the historic landmark through a public-private partnership model.
North Delhi Mayor Preety Agarwal had last week made the announcement that the redevelopment of the Town Hall in Chandni Chowk -- the headquarters of the erstwhile unified MCD-- into a centre of cultural and social heritage would be taken up on a PPP model.
"An in-principle approval has been accorded for the PPP project," she said. North Delhi Municipal Commissioner Praveen Gupta said the restoration was initially planned to be funded by the Union Tourism Ministry but "could not be materialised on that front" so this new plan has been envisioned.
The Centre had in early 2014 cleared a Rs 50 crore heritage renewal project for the building, but the fund release was subject to preparation of the detailed project report (DPR) by the NDMC.
He said if all goes well, the fresh project would be taken up in the "next nine months and is likely to be completed within two years". Ms Agarwal said the Town Hall would be redeveloped as an attractive tourist destination with "international standards", after which the city landmark would emerge as a centre of cultural and social heritage, depicting the history, culture and the life of Delhi.
She highlighted that the objective of the redevelopment is to provide a wholesome experience to the visitors. The mayor said the museum would be the main tourist attraction and it would occupy an area of about 1,574 sqm on the ground floor.
"It would be dedicated to the history of Delhi and will display a number of historical and cultural artefacts" she added. Mr Gupta said apart from depicting the history of Delhi, the redevelopment project is also expected to earn good revenue for the corporation.
Built in 1860s, and known originally as the Lawrence Institute, the hall was the seat of the Delhi Municipality. After trifurcation of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, it housed the North Corporation until it shifted to swanky, multi-storeyed Civic Centre on Minto Road in New Delhi.
The Town Hall, one of the finest heritage buildings in the city, has been lying in neglect for a long time and the last restoration plan was to breath a fresh lease of life in it, but "bureaucratic delays" had shelved it.
After lying in doldrums since then, the fresh redevelopment plan has come has a much-desired fillip the Raj-era building needed that has seen the era of trams and Gothic clocktower pass by in front of it.