Red sandstone walkways, bridges: Revamped Central Vista Avenue ready

Red sandstone paved walkways spreading over 1.10 lakh sq metres, bridges, and stepped gardens will be part of the revamped Central Vista, officials said Saturday. This will also include 133 light poles along Rajpath, 4,087 trees, and 114 modern signages.

Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri Friday tweeted that the new Central Vista Avenue is ready. Visiting the spot on Saturday, he said a full dress rehearsal parade will be held on Sunday.

A spokesperson of HCP Design, Planning and Management Private Ltd, the consultant firm for the project, said: “The road at Rajpath has been newly laid. There were bajri (sandy) pathways on the side, now they are hard paved in granite. The lawns are the same but have been re-laid to make sure the grass grows better and the slopes drain out the water properly. They’ve also been fitted with proper irrigation systems. There will also be dustbins along the pathways and lawns.”

“Earlier, the lawns used to have bald patches as there were no designated walkways across. Now, there is a network of pathways to ensure that the whole area is accessible and comfortable for pedestrians. The canals have been rebuilt and we have lined them with kota stone. There are aerators so that the water remains fresh,” she said.

The spokesperson also said the area behind the canals was not very accessible; now there are bridges across — 16 of them, eight on each side: “These bridges are also in line with the pathways so that the whole area becomes easily accessible. There will also be eight amenity blocks, and four underpasses, sets of two. Except for these two, the rest is complete.”

For the Republic Day parade, the spokesperson said instead of putting plywood on the ground and then putting chairs on top of it, there will be bleachers this time.

“Existing light poles have been refurbished to include a PA system, CCTV, flags, etc. Cabling for this used to be overhead, now it has been put underground along Rajpath. The pathways have underground trenches where the cables are put, and there are manholes from where one can easily access them. This makes the setting up and removing arrangements for Republic Day very easy,” she said.

According to the MoHUA, there will be 915 light poles, including those in gardens and along the Rajpath between the Rashtrapati Bhavan and India Gate — a move aimed at making the Central Vista more pedestrian-friendly round the clock.

Although temporary bridges on water bodies along the Rajpath have been set up as part of the parade, 16 permanent ones will come up.

(with PTI inputs)

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