Rectangular-shaped exhibition halls connected by travelators, a world-class convention centre with room for 4,000 people, and slip roads and underpasses providing direct connectivity to the complex. These are part of the proposed Pragati Maidan redevelopment plan.
The plan is, however, facing objections from the Delhi Urban Art Commission (DUAC). "...the commission is of the strong view that the Pragati Maidan complex is not a right place for putting up a convention centre... The existing iconic buildings must be retained and upgraded," DUAC chairman Raj Rewal has stated in a letter to the Lt-Governor and the Urban development ministry.
"We have nothing against upgradation of infrastructure but our issue is that any perspective plan for redevelopment of the complex could result in demolition of some iconic buildings and adversely impact the landscape of the area. The commission felt concerned as the complex is adjacent to Old Fort and has certain iconic buildings like Natural Science Museum, Crafts Museum, Hall of Nations, Nehru Complex designed by eminent architects. We are against demolition of such buildings," Rewal said.
But the chairman and managing director of India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) Rita Menon said there was a need for state-of-the-art infrastructure to attract international fairs from across Asia to Pragati Maidan. "At least 42 per cent of the halls are not put to use for exhibitions, except during the India International Trade Fair, which is a sheer waste of prime space," she said.