New Delhi — Mr. Rajiv Gandhi, scheduled to shift residence from 1. Safdarjung Road to Race Course Road within the next few weeks will move house yet again in around 18 months.

Plans for a new Prime Minister’s residential complex likely to be constructed on Willington Crescent near the President’s Bodyguard Parade Ground are being drawn and are due to be submitted by the first week of March.

To be spread over an area of 10,000 square feet, Mr. Rajiv Gandhi’s new residence is estimated to cost around Rs 2 crore. The renovation of the interim residence on Race Course Road (Numbers 5 and 7) which is almost complete has cost the exchequer around Rs 25 lakh officials estimate.

Six leading firms of architects in Delhi Kanvinde and Associates Kothari and Associates. Mr. Satish Gujaral Mr. Sharad Das, Raj Rewal and Associates and Ram Sharam and Associates have been short listed by the Prime Minister’s office for the prestigious project which is being kept under tight wraps. The six firms were chosen on the basis of their past records purely In Financial terms.

Mr. Rajiv Gandhi is believed to have met the architects himself a fortnight ago, and given them a detailed rundown on his security requirements for the new complex. Intricate models of various designs fashioned in wood and made to scale are being readied by the architects for submission along with the plans.

Broad instructions have been given to the architects about the complex which is to include besides the Prime Minister’s house, his office, a doctors residence and work places for those connected with Mr. Gandhi’s staff. The architects have been told to construct an “ideal”? Complex for Mr. Gandhi.

Both the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) and the New Delhi Municipal Committee (NDMC) denied any knowledge of the project, The Secretary, Ministry of Works and Housing. Mr. Ramesh Chandra was not available for comment the entire day on Thursday.

The architects involved however, admitted in private to drawing up plans for the complex, but were unwilling to be quoted considering the sensitivity of the issue. ‘““‘We do not wish to make any statement’’ said a spokesman from one of the firms based in Connaught Place on Thursday. A designer for the same firm from Anand Parbat said on Wednesday that he had built a model under conditions of secrecy.


Article extracted from this publication >>  March 8, 1985