It's a move that has shocked 86-year-old Raj, who is now the vice-chairman of the Engineering Council of India, and he is appealing to save them

'These buildings are a reflection of what India was in the 1970s. Destroying them will be as much disgrace as destroying any historic building,' he said. 

'We built it to host the first international trade fair to be held in Delhi. It was commissioned by the then government under the authority who maintained the Pragati Maidan complex. 

'During that time, steel was not available in abundance. So we built it in reinforced cement, which is even harder to design.

'But we completed it in the record time of two years. It is disastrous that there is a decision to tear it  down,' he said.

'Every era has produced iconic buildings in India. Jama Masjid, Qutub Minar or the Bahai temple - we have always upheld buildings that make India a global phenomenon.'

Raj, who is also the brains behind other important buildings like Sri Ram Centre for Arts and the NCDC building, continued: 'We had written to the Heritage Conservation Committee under the Ministry of Urban Development in 2013 to consider including these two buildings as heritage sites.

'There has been no response, positive or otherwise, from their side.'

A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed to the High Court along with a request from Indian National Trust for Art and Heritage (INTACH) to stop the process.

The case was closed, with the judgement reading: 'Mere pendency of representation to declare the buildings as "Heritage Buildings" cannot be the basis to stall the redevelopment of the Pragati Maidan Complex. We see no reason to pass any order as sought in the present PIL. The same is dismissed. All the pending applications are also dismissed.'

AGK Menon, founder-member of INTACH said: 'More than the fact that there is difficulty in wrapping one’s head around the idea of modern architectural heritage, it is the bureaucratic apathy that is causing trouble.