Corridors of power shift to new addresses; PM Modi to inaugurate


Africa Avenue Complex has four blocks (A,B,C&D) and will have 13 offices over a built up area of 5.08 lakh sq ft. (Credit:CPWD)

Over the next couple of months around 7,000 employees of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) who are working out of barracks on Dalhousie Road which is behind the South Block are going to new addresses. On September 16, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is going to inaugurate the new office complexes located at Africa Avenue and Kasturba Gandhi Marg.

The 7000 officers and staff who will be shifting to the new buildings are from 27 different organisations including service headquarters, attached offices of MoD, and other subordinate offices.

The KG Marg Complex has three blocks (A, B & C) and will house 14 offices of the Ministry and has a Built up area of 4.52 lakh sq ft. Africa Avenue Complex has four blocks (A,B,C&D) and will have 13 offices over a built up area of 5.08 lakh sq ft.

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The offices on Dalhousie Road have been in use for various offices and auxiliary services by the Ministry of Defence since Independence and the space which is going to be vacated will be redeveloped as part of the ongoing Central Vista Redevelopment Project.

Sharing details of the new complexes, sources told Financial Express Online, “The design of the buildings has ensured that no pre-existing trees have been disturbed. These new offices have been constructed at a cost of Rs 775 crores and are fully funded by the Ministry of Defence.”

There is a provision for multi-level car parking for around 1500 vehicles in these complexes which have been constructed by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development as part of the ongoing Central Vista Project.

More about the new office complexes

According to the source quoted above, “The new buildings are eco-friendly and have a green building environment and will provide good connectivity, modern amenities, banks, canteens etc. And total space in these buildings adds up to around 9.60 Lakhs sq ft as against 9.22 Lakh sq ft vacated in various buildings and hutments.”

Adding, “Instead of being located in various old buildings and hutments, with the co-location of these buildings greater efficiency and working will be ensured. (A, B, E,G,H,J,L&M Block, Plot No 30 and Plot No.108 (E&W) and Jodhpur House). For office space for the Central Vista Development Master Plan, 37 acres of land has been released (as only 13 acres of land has been used for modern office complexes as against the existing 50 acres of land).”

More about the new complexes

The work on these complexes had started around June-July 2020. “The total time taken to finish these two buildings took around one and a half years,” said the source.

It is a seven-storey space in Africa Avenue and only the offices of MoD will be going there. The eight-storey Kasturba Gandhi Marg complex will also accommodate offices of Praivahan Bhawan and Shram Shakti Bhawan temporarily. The offices of these two ministries will be at this address till their new offices are ready at the Central Secretariat Complex.

What will happen with the space vacated by MoD?

The space vacated by the South Block is likely to be used for the ‘Executive Enclave’ of the Central Vista Project. The over 50 acres of land will be used for the residence of the Prime Minister and the PMO and other offices.

When will work start on the vacated space?

There is still some time before the work starts as the shifting of the current offices will take around two months.

How was the project implemented?

A Joint Coordination Committee was constituted by the MoD and it was under JS & CAO. This committee was co-ordinating amongst the various stakeholders about their requirements including space allocation, common amenities, etc.

Representatives of Department of Defence Production, Department of Military Affairs, Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare (ESW), three services and Department of Defence R&D were in the Joint Coordination Committee.

INS India

INS India of the Indian Navy located on the Dalhousie Road will have a new Block. This is one of the major establishments of the navy located in New Delhi and is responsible for administrative and logistics cover to all officers and sailors who are in the Naval Headquarters as well other units at Delhi.

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