In a bid to put an end to housing crisis faced by members of Parliament in national capital New Delhi, the government is mulling construction of multi-storeyed flats at an estimated cost of Rs 60 crore in the heritage site Lutyen's Zone.
"We have received a proposal from the Rajya Sabha Housing Committee for construction of modern flats for MPs," S M Acharya, Additional Secretary, ministry of Urban Development, told PTI.
As per the proposal, the high-rise modern flats numbering about 150 are to be constructed on two acres of land in Ferozshah Road.
"However, mandatory clearances from the concerned agencies including Delhi Urban Arts Commission and the New Delhi Municipal Corporation are required before removing the existing structures and constructing new houses in Lutyen's Zone," said Acharya.
The government had earlier constructed multi-storeyed apartments for Rajya Sabha MPs.
"There are about 300 houses in North Avenue and South Avenue meant for MPs and but are not in habitable condition. They should be demolished to make rooms for modern apartments," said J P Aggarwal, chairman of the Rajya Sabha Housing Committee.
"We have submitted a proposal to the Urban Development ministry for construction of multi-storeyed modern flats in Ferozshah Road. There is a big gap between demand and supply of houses for MPs in Delhi. The land is also scarce. The solution lies in constructing multi-storeyed flats," he said.
According to an initial estimate, each flat would cost about Rs 40 lakh, he said.
"The conditions of existing houses in Lutyen's Zone are deteriorating and maintaining these old structures is becoming an expensive exercise. Retrofitting exercise has been carried out in many houses but this is not a permanent solution," said a senior Central Public Works Department official.
The DUAC has asked the CPWD to make a comprehensive plan for Sunheri Bagh area where small new bungalows would replace old ones.
"There is a scope for redeveloping the aging Lutyen's Zone," said the official.
However, conservationists disapprove the idea of tampering with the Lutyen's Zone.They point out that Delhi is among the few world capitals where the core area -- Lutyen's Zone -- is less congested and cooler than the surrounding areas. Hence, it must be saved at any cost and any attempt to change it would adversely affect the Lutyen's Zone's character.