The proposal, which is at an early stage, includes the construction of a conch-shaped office complex near Delhi Zoo, Pragati Maidan and Old Fort
The Union environment ministry is considering an ambitious proposal to develop a museum district in one of the greenest areas of Delhi, according to documents seen by Scroll.in. The development is planned in the area between the Delhi Zoo, Pragati Maidan and the Old Fort in central Delhi. The proposal involves constructing a freshwater aquarium – billed as one of the largest in the world – and a National Museum of Natural History, along with redeveloping the National Zoological Park, the Crafts Museum and the National Science Centre.
News of this proposal comes at a time when Delhi residents have been protesting against the cutting of thousands of trees for government housing redevelopment projects. These protests have led to several interventions by courts over the past few weeks.
The proposed project also includes constructing a 120-metre-high office building of approximately 30 storeys, designed in the shape of a conch. According to the documents seen by Scroll.in, the museum district will be named Panchjanya, after the mythological conch of Lord Krishna. Space in this complex will be sold to corporations to offset the project cost.
The project is being designed and promoted by the NBCC (India) Limited, the company under the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs that has been redeveloping government housing colonies in South Delhi. The company has been criticised by residents for cutting a large number of trees for these projects.