NEW DELHI: The Railways has sought permanent space at the revamped Pragati Maidan to showcase round the year its history as well as futuristic plans.
The iconic Pragati Maidan complex is currently being rebuilt as a world-class, state-of-the-art integrated exhibition-cum-convention centre, with a large rooftop helipad, a 500-room hotel and four amphitheatres.
"We are discussing the matter with the Commerce Ministry to allow Railways to have a permanent space of about 1,800 sq mts in Pragati Maidan," a senior Railway Ministry official told IANS, requesting anonymity.
Incidentally, the land on which Pragati Maidan was developed originally belonged to the Railways and the ownership was transferred to the then Works and Housing Ministry -- now the Urban Affairs Ministry -- in 1971.
The land was later transferred to the India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) at a nominal payment of Rs 1 per annum.
As per the ITPO's plans, the revamped Pragati Maidan complex -- which is expected to be completed by 2019 -- will have a covered exhibition space of 1,22,000 sq mts and close to 15 acres of open exhibition space.
The integrated exhibition-cum-convention centre project is being built at an estimated cost of Rs 2,254 crore, excluding the cost of elaborate traffic interventions which will cost an additional Rs 800 crore.
"It is essential to have a permanent Railway Pavilion of international standards at Pragati Maidan to showcase its history and futuristic plans so as to create awareness among the general public," the official said.
According to the Railways plan, the swanky pavilion will have a round-the-year calender promoting different events and products.
The proposed permanent pavilion is expected to match the grandeur of the revamped of Pragati Maidan and be in sync with the Railways' future models of transportation.