NDMC to fast track stalled Delhi Town Hall redevelopment plan

An ambitious restoration plan for the nearly 150-year-old Town Hall in the city is likely to be "fast tracked" by this month, after the change of guard at the Centre stalled the proposed redevelopment work.

PTI| Last Updated: Sep 07, 2014, 10:02 AM IST

New Delhi: An ambitious restoration plan for the nearly 150-year-old Town Hall in the city is likely to be "fast tracked" by this month, after the change of guard at the Centre stalled the proposed redevelopment work.

The Rs 50-crore restoration and renewal project was cleared by the previous government's Ministry of Tourism and the DPR (detailed project report) is awaited for release of the fund.

"Change in government at the Centre stalled further work in the plan, as new officials came on their side and some files couldn't move, and so the work got stuck. We are now seeking to fast track it, and therefore along with INTACH, we will meet Tourism Ministry officials within this month," Chairman, Standing Committee, NDMC, Mohan Bhardwaj told PTI.

The North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) has commissioned INTACH as a consultant for the revival plan of the historic building, the headquarters of the erstwhile unified Municipal Corporation of Delhi.

The DPR, which was supposed to have been submitted to the ministry by the NDMC by June 30, is however, still not ready.

"We had kept a sort of a deadline to submit the DPR but delays brought in by change of government at the Centre has stalled the proceedings, and therefore it (DPR) is still not ready," Director (Press & Information) Yogendra Singh Mann said.

The Delhi Chapter of INTACH (Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage), which is partnering the project, is "hoping" that despite delays, the project takes off.

"The restoration of the Town Hall would be a fitting example for promoting Delhi as a World Heritage City. Though, there is a change of guard at the Centre, and there are concomitant delays, but I believe no one wants to demolish it, everyone wants to do something about the building," Convener, INTACH, Delhi Chapter, AGK Menon told PTI.

Menon, however, added that "from the start of the project, it would take about two years to finish it".

"There have been a lot of modifications and alterations in the Victorian-era building, but we are quite optimistic of restoring the heritage building to its old glory. More so, it would be a good asset to the city and its people," he said.