India's top exhibition ground, Pragati Maidan, is set to get a Rs 820 crore (Rs 8.20 billion) facelift, which will include new exhibition centres, convention halls, food plazas and a five-star hotel.
The Indian Trade Promotion Organisation said it would securitise future rent receipts to raise the money required to expand and renovate Pragati Maidan.
The five-year overhaul plan calls for creation of 117,000 square metre of air-conditioned exhibition space plus convention halls, an expo mart, a cultural centre, theatre and food plazas.
"The new facility will be among the best in the world and compare with those in Hong Kong and Europe," ITPO chairman Ashok Jha told Business Standard.
In addition, there are plans to construct a three-storey parking lot with a capacity of 16,000 cars and a 25 mw gas-based power project that will be set up on a build-operate-transfer basis.
ITPO has also earmarked land in Pragati Maidan for a hotel to be constructed by a private company. The lease for the construction of the hotel will be given after the expansion work is completed in around five years.
To ensure smooth flow of traffic around Pragati Maidan while the project is being implemented, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation has decided to set up a station at the exhibition centre.
The ITPO board had cleared the plan and the project's international consultant was scheduled to submit a detailed report in about three months, Jha said. The trade promotion body planned to leverage existing assets to raise funds for the expansion programme, he added.
By securitising rent receipts from export marts for nine years, ITPO can raise over Rs 1,100 crore (Rs 11 billion). "At present, our plan does not envisage outside assistance, but we can tap such sources if need be. But I think our existing assets can help meet the funding requirement," Jha said.
The proposed convention centre will be able to accommodate 8,300 people and will have a large plenary hall that can be partitioned. Jha said the convention centre could be used for holding meetings and seminars.
Under the project, half of the existing air-conditioned halls will be turned into marts to showcase India's exports.
The remaining eight will be razed and new structures will be built for holding exhibitions. The renovation plan does not include government-owned halls in Pragati Maidan.
The first floor of the new exhibition centre will have at least six food plazas along with communication centres, banks and post offices.
The proposed theatre could be a multiplex. Facilities such as the theatre and the food plazas will be leased out to private firms.
The new look