Dwarka as venue for future Auto Expo shows?



New Delhi: Union Minister Kamal Nath on Wednesday said attempts were on to create a new exhibition centre for international shows in South West Delhi's Dwarka as the hosting capacity of Pragati Maidan has reached its saturation point.

"We are looking at venues in Dwarka and we are talking to international exhibitors who got skills for an exhibition centre of international standards," Nath told reporters after his valedictory address at the Auto Expo.

"It is true because we have limited exhibition centres and many exhibitors also come there and the number of common people who visit is also increasing each year," he added.

Nath admitted that Pragati Maidan, the present venue, was already stretched to accommodate the show.

"The carrying capacity of this exhibition centre has been saturated. So we are making attempts to create a new exhibition centre in Delhi," he said.

However, the Urban Development minister did not made it clear that whether a new venue would be ready by the time the show is held next year.

"By next year there may be announcement for the creation of a new exhibition centre, but it may take more time to build it," he said.

Nath said relocating the auto show to another venue did not mean that it would move away from the heart of the city.

"Today there is no area which can claim to be centre of Delhi. Those who say that they live in Dwarka or East Delhi also can claim that they live in the heart of Delhi," Nath said.

That a venue shift was on the cards was also hinted when Nath unveiled a plaque which mentioned February 5 to 12 as the dates for the next Auto Expo. In place of venue, only the "National Capital Region of Delhi" was mentioned.

Earlier in his valedictory address Nath said that the auto sector reflected the vitality and aspiration of India's young demographic profile.

"I was delighted to see the vitality of this sector and the vitality of the visitors, a very young age profile. It has been the most significant thing that from 2006 to today, the age profile of the visitors has come down," Nath said.

"It is true that this sector is an index of the economic health of the nation and if we look at the performance of the last five years nobody will say that we have problems with our economy," he said.

In his speech, Nath also mentioned the challenges on urban mobility front that the country is facing due to rapid urbanisation. “Urban mobility will be a huge challenge; how to move people and not cars...," he said.

Referring to the Delhi example, Nath said "we are seeing in the Capital areas built in the last twenty years which cater to scooters and motorcycles.

"What do we do with parking? What do we do with urban aspects? I have directed that all cities with a population of more than 2 million should start preparing DPR for Metro," Nath said.

Nath said the revised Master Plan of Delhi would be a realistic plan which would factor in the latest technologies and also serve as a model for other cities.

"A realistic plan, a master plan which will take in to account the latest of technologies. We are now working towards planned suburbanisation," he said.

Referring to developing suburbs, the Minister said that in the past suburbs were developed more by default than by desire.

"This time we want it to happen in a planned manner. So that when we talk about India being a global player in the world, its cities are also comparable to cities in the world," he said.

PTI