The India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) is planning to transform Pragati Maidan into a world-class convention centre, Parliament was informed today. 

"The proposal entails a total development of 3,26,065 sq metres of built-up area, including 1,19,445 sq metres of exhibition space, a convention centre with seating capacity of 7,000 persons with a number of different-sized meeting rooms, space for public circulation... In phase-I," Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha. 

It would also have support facilities and parking space for some 4,800 passenger cases in phase-I of the development plan. 

In phase-II, development of 86,225 sq metres of exhibition space has been proposed. 

The redevelopment of the Pragati Maidan complex, she said, entails a comprehensive and integrated approach to set up the much-needed world-class state-of-the-art and iconic integrated exhibition-cum-convention centre. 

"This is proposed to be developed in two phases by dismantling 23 state pavilions and five central ministry pavilions," the minister said. 

Hall 1 to 6, 14 to 20 and other structures would also be redeveloped in phase-I, along with Hall of Nations and Nehru Pavilion, she said. 

She replied yes when asked if ITPO has decided to demolish the two iconic structures of the Hall of Nations, India's first pillarless building, and the Nehru Pavilion. 

On the question whether requests/representations have been received by the government from architects to stop demolition of these structures, the minister said representations have been received from Raj Rewal Associates and Uddesh Kohli, Chairman, Engineering Council of India. 

All these representations have been discussed at the meeting of the ITPO and it was noted that the structures have "not" been declared as heritage buildings by Delhi Urban Art Commission, he said. 

"It has been decided that all measures would be taken to duly preserve the artefact kept in the Nehru Pavilion while executing the re-development project," the minister added. 

The Delhi High Court, she said, has also dismissed the public interest litigation filed by the Indian Institute of Architects and others.