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Committee for Assembly complex expansion constituted

By Our Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI, OCT. 21. The Delhi Assembly Speaker, Chaudhary Prem Singh, has constituted a sub-committee of the General Purpose Committee headed by the Nationalist Congress Party MLA, Ramvir Singh Bidhuri, to monitor the expansion of the Assembly Complex at the Old Secretariat including setting up of a world class convention centre, Assembly annexe and construction of a MLAs Hostel near the Vidhan Sabha.

The sub-committee, comprising three other MLAs, Vijay Lochav, Amrish Gautam and Vijay Jolly, would submit its recommendations to the Speaker on the action taken to implement his directions in this respect. Another sub-committee headed by the former Minister, Pervez Hashmi, has been set up to study the report of the committee set up to find out the cause of the outbreak of fire in the Chamber of the Assembly Speaker and the adjoining rooms. The committee would also monitor the eviction of Assembly Secretariat premises by the other Departments at the Old Secretariat.

Explaining the functions of the sub-committee, Mr. Bidhuri said Mr. Prem Singh had told the committee that its objective was to maintain and restore the originality of the historical Old Secretariat Complex as also to expand the Assembly Secretariat. Mr. Singh had set out a task to expand the boundaries of the Assembly complex by working out a deal for eviction of various offices including that of the Delhi Jal Board, the now defunct Delhi Vidyut Board, Directorate of Education and Publication Division of the Union Government so that the important decisions taken to restore the lost glory of Vidhan Sabha are implemented in letter and spirit.

He said the Old Secretariat Complex, constructed in 1912 when the Capital of India was shifted from Calcutta to Delhi, should be restored to its original shape. The modifications, alterations and construction over a period of time had destroyed the originality of the structure and needs to be set up in a phased manner.

Mr. Bidhuri said the Assembly Speaker was of the view that a single corridor around the entire building should be restored. This corridor had been blocked and covered with the passage of time for making small rooms and cabins for the personal staff of various Ministers. However, during the last one year, a number of such rooms and cabins had been demolished under the directions of the Secretary Vidhan Sabha, Siddharath Rao.

Mr. Bidhuri said Mr. Prem Singh was of the view that as the entire secretariat of the Delhi Government had shifted to the new Players Building, it was not desirable to have other Government offices in the Old Secretariat Complex, therefore all departments and other offices in the Assembly premises should be asked to move out to some other suitable place. It was felt that if there is any office of the Union Government, the matter should be taken up at the appropriate level for seeking shifting of such Central Government offices from the Assembly premises. It also being planned that apart from full computerisation of the Assembly Secretariat, an international standard convention centre be constructed in the Assembly Complex for which suitable land should be identified.

The PWD has been directed to seek the eviction of all Delhi Government offices from the Assembly Complex as early as possible. "We will study the whole situation and submit our report to the Speaker and the Committee at the earliest,'' Mr. Bidhuri remarked.

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