NEW DELHI: At its meeting on Wednesday, the Union Cabinet is likely to consider among other things a proposal to lease out 3.7 acres of land at Pragati Maidan to private players for building a five star hotel, informed sources said.
The proposal, mooted by the Commerce Ministry, is part of the holistic plan to redevelop Pragati Maidan into a world-class amenity for holding exhibitions and conventions.
The funds raised by leasing out the land for 99 years would be used by the India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) to finance the Integrated Exhibition-cum-Convention Centre (IECC) project at Pragati Maidan.
The Rs 2,254 crore project was cleared by the government last year.
Designed by architect Raj Rewal, Pragati Maidan- a 150 acre space of exhibition ground, was commissioned in 1970 to host the International Trade Fair in 1972.
Some of the iconic structures in Pragati Maidan used to be The Hall of Nations, Hall of Industries and Nehru Pavilion.
According to Scroll, Aurelien Lemonier of Centre Pompidou says that "From our understanding, the Hall of Nations and the Nehru Pavilion should be considered as a major heritage of the post-independence architecture and need to be preserved. We want then to express our support and our wish to contribute to the recognition of these two great pieces of architecture and their proper maintenance as part of the architectural heritage.”
The Indian Institute of Architects, the Centre national d’art et de culture Georges Pompidou in Paris, and New York’s Museum of Modern Art had written to Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, asking the structures to be retained.
The structure was demolished under a redevelopment project proposed by Commerce Ministry’s India Trade Promotion Organisation in April 2017.
The redevelopment, planned to be completed in two phases, will also include creation of a convention centre with a seating capacity of 7,000 persons. The first phase is expected to be completed by May 2019.
The sources said the project was envisaged to provide a world class venue for international events and a star hotel needed to be there to complement the overall facilities.
(with online desk inputs)