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State-of-the-art exhibition centre to come up at Pragati Maidan

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

With the iconic exhibition halls at Pragati Maidan on their way to becoming history, the India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) on Tuesday said the area is set to be redeveloped into a world class Integrated exhibition-cum-convention centre (IECC) in the heart of the national capital.

Work on the project will begin in July with a strict deadline for completion within 24 months or June 2019. 

Addressing a joint press conference, L C Goyal, chairman-cum-managing director of ITPO and Anoop Kumar Mittal, CMD, NBCC (India) Limited, announced the launch of the project to be handled by NBCC at a cost of about Rs.2,500 crore.

Goyal said, "we have received all requisite approvals for the project apart from environmental clearances. We hope to get the environment clearance by first week of June, just before the commencement of the project." 

In place of the pavilions, there will be seven two-storeyed exhibition halls with multi-colour aluminium panels, a convention centre with world-class facilities and direct skywalk connectivity to the Pragati Maidan Metro station.

Plans are afoot to construct an underground tunnel connecting Mathura Road with Ring Road that will solve the severe traffic congestion in the area.

The exhibition-cum-convention complex will have basement parking for 4,800 vehicles.

The architects for the Rs.2,500 crore project are Delhi-based Arcop Associates and Singapore-based Aedas Private Limited. 

The proposed plan also includes interventions to ease traffic in and around Pragati Maidan, including a six-lane divided tunnel connecting Mathura Road to Ring Road across Pragati Maidan and making Mathura Road signal free through 'U' turns/subways at necessary intersections for better access to the complex and for benefit of general public. 

A layout and design of IECC and an outline of comprehensive solutions to decongest traffic in and around Pragati Maidan were released. Once redeveloped, IECC will be a landmark spot in Delhi and a symbol of Prime Minister’s vision of ‘New India’, Goyal said. 

Space has been earmarked for a 15,000 sq metre five-star hotel and landscaped gardens that will have underground parking facilities. "The implementation of the whole project shall also have the provision for monetisation of land for a 500-key hotel. The hotel will be run by a private company," Goyal said. 

ITPO plans to fund the entire project from internal accruals. "Out of the total cost we plan to use Rs 1200 crore from our free reserves and balance through monetisation of the project. We also plan to tie up with financial institutions and banks for funding," Goyal added.