The Hall of Nations and the Hall of Industries, two of the nationwide capital's iconic fashionable architectural landmarks, celebrated globally, are actually historical past.
In keeping with INTACH, which has been combating a shedding authorized battle for preservation of the buildings, work to tear down the buildings started late final evening and by morning, the halls had been decreased to rubble.
The halls, considered "fashionable architectural marvels", had been constructed at Pragati Maidan right here to rejoice 25 years of the nation's Independence. The Hall of Nations was inaugurated in 1972 by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
"The Hall of Nations and the Hall of Industries have been demolished to make method for a state-of-the-artwork fashionable complicated which might add immensely to the profile of the capital metropolis.
"The buildings weren't categorised as heritage by the Heritage Conservation Committee (HCC) as these are solely 45 years outdated. So, we now have demolished these for the brand new venture. Demolition of the Nehru Pavilion remains to be occurring," a senior ITPO official instructed PTI.
The India Commerce Promotion Organisation (ITPO), headquartered at Pragati Maidan, is the nodal company that hosts the well-known annual commerce honest on its premises.
The ITPO made it clear that organising of an Built-in Exhibition-cum-Conference Centre (IECC) requires dismantling of Hall No. to six, 14 to 20, state pavilions and others, "together with the Hall of Nations, the Nehru Pavilion and the Hall of Business".
"The structure plan of IECC, which inevitably includes demolition of these buildings, has already been authorised by statutory authorities involved, just like the Delhi City Arts Fee, the South Delhi Municipal Company and the Nationwide Monuments Authority," the ITPO mentioned.
"That is simply stunning. It's not only a loss of architectural legacy however in a method the evolution of the historical past of town as effectively.
"Subsequent is what? Demolish the India Worldwide Centre (IIC) or different fashionable-period icons? Is the span of its existence the one standards for heritage? What about its architectural significance and the emotional bond individuals have had with it?" famous city planner A G Ok Menon requested.
Menon is the previous convener of the Delhi Chapter of INTACH, which has been combating to have a gaggle of fashionable-period buildings in town come underneath safety.
The Delhi Excessive Courtroom on April 20 had dismissed a plea by the constructing's architect to protect it.
Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva dismissed as "with out advantage" the plea by architect Raj Rewal, who had designed the constructing.
The courtroom's verdict was based mostly on the choice of the Heritage Conservation Committee (HCC), arrange for shielding heritage buildings, which held that solely these buildings which are 60 years or older can be thought-about for heritage standing.
It additionally mentioned for the reason that HCC's tips, formulated in February this 12 months, haven't been challenged, due to this fact the architect has no authorized proper to hunt preservation of the construction.
In an announcement, the ITPO mentioned earlier, a public curiosity litigation and two writ petitions filed by India Institute of Architects in Hon'ble Excessive Courtroom of Delhi had been dismissed.
"The Hall of Nations is a really important constructing in the evolution of fashionable structure in India. It demonstrated the power of the career in 1970 to construct a big area body construction with out there sources, which in this case was bolstered cement concrete and expert hand-labour.
"We would have liked a big exhibition area and most giant exhibition locations are constructed in metal. India didn't have that a lot metal in these days. So, it was constructed in concrete by hand... No mechanical means... It was constructed by hand! It demonstrated the power of Indian architects to do virtually something. It was a really important image of Indian structure," mentioned Menon.
Probably, India's first pillarless construction, the transfer to demolish it was met with impassioned pleas from artwork homes and galleries globally, together with the Museum of Trendy Artwork (MoMA) in New York.
"The MoMA and the Pompidou Centre in Paris, amongst different establishments, have exhibited the plans and images of the buildings," he mentioned.
As per the Centre's plan, the brand new exhibition-cum- conference complicated will come up in just a few years.
"Seven exhibition centres, unfold over an space of almost .5 lakh sqm, will come up in Pragati Maidan. Apart from, a world-class iconic conference centre, with a capability of 7,000 seats will even be constructed. Additionally, the plan goes past Pragati Maidan, we will probably be setting up an underpass by the Maidan to decongest visitors in and across the space.
"The structure plan is prepared and it has been authorised by the Competent Authority. We anticipate to complete it by mid-2019. A basement parking facility for four,800 autos can also be a component of the venture," the ITPO official mentioned.
"Crimson and white sandstones will probably be used in the development in concord with different buildings in the capital. It should add to the aesthetics of town," he mentioned.
Heritage lovers in town, described the demolition as a "large architectural loss", saying, the buildings ought to have been "preserved for posterity".
The ITPO highlighted that work for redevelopment of Pragati Maidan is time-certain in nature and such a venue of worldwide requirements is in sync with India aspiring to be a world energy.
It mentioned the RFP for IECC has been floated by the Nationwide Buildings Building Company on March 23 with Might 21 because the final date of submission of bids for choosing the seller/contractor.
In the meantime, because the Hall of Nations lies in ruins, its creator, architect Raj Rewal says the demolition was "very unfair", notably with two hearings scheduled on April 27 and Might respectively.
"When the courtroom hearings had been underway, one of them was presupposed to occur on the 27th and the opposite on Might . So, it is extremely unfair," he instructed PTI.
Rewal and Menon together with structural engineer Mahendra Raj and Divya Kush, president of Indian Institute of Architects have launched a press assertion calling the demolition "an act of outrage".
"We contemplate the demolition of the Hall of Nations at Pragati Maidan an act of outrage. The case was being thought-about in the Delhi Excessive Courtroom and the hearings had been scheduled on 27th April 2017 and 1st Might 2017.
"It will not be out of place to say that the unbiased physique of the Indian Institute of Architects and the completely different Associations of Engineers had requested the authorities to protect these buildings for posterity for his or her distinctive achievements. INTACH had pleaded in their courtroom case to do the identical," the assertion mentioned.