Bonanza for Dwarka

The residential township is getting some glamorous additions – a diplomatic enclave and a convention centre

With a Diplomatic Enclave under construction and Asia’s second largest convention centre being constructed, Dwarka may become a big hub for entertainment and international events.

Under clear blue skies, on barren land, a few construction workers are seen constructing a 400-metre long boundary wall. With some fencing completed, and some left, the ground is being laid for posh new additions to Delhi’s Dwarka township.

The plot of 34.87 hectares in Sector 24, which earlier belonged to Delhi Development Authority (DDA), is now with the Development Office under the urban development ministry. The boundary wall is the perimeter for new offices of embassies like Serbia, Egypt, Zimbabwe and Croatia, which currently operate from rented spaces in different parts of South Delhi.

Naturally, these embassies would be the first to get prime spots in the enclave in Dwarka. With close proximity to IGI airport, it will give the diplomatic community easy connectivity to the airport.

Till now, the iconic Chanakya-puri with its aesthetic landscaping has been hosting more than 60 embassies of various nations, right in the heart of Delhi. But it lacks space for newer ones. The land identified by DDA in 2007 was sought after by Ministry of External Affairs.

As yet, no date is being disclosed, even tentatively, as to when the allotment of the plots will start. DDA officials could not be reached out for a comment.

Adjacent to the upcoming Diplomatic Enclave is Sector 25, Dwarka, which is currently bustling with development. Its tall blue-tinted aluminum boundary walls stretch as far as eye can see. Huge construction cranes are at work, moving 360 degrees from one task to another.

This is the construction site for the upcoming India International Convention Centre (IICC), which is said to be Asia’s second with state-of-the-art facilities. The project is engineered by CP Kukreja Associates, who are also associated with the upcoming Pragati Maidan complex.

A design competition was held in early 2017, with participation of architects, master planners and design consultants. CP Kukreja Associates was chosen to oversee the engineering and architectural development of the IICC.

“Our designs were basically to create something that would be technologically world-class and extremely sustainable from environmental point of view. When you’re doing such large facility that is important,” says Dikshu C Kukreja, Managing Principal.

Work on the IICC began in March 2018 and is set to be completed by December this year.

It will host events like G-20 summits and other national and international conventions. Being constructed at a cost of Rs 25,703 core, the 10,000-seat capacity IICC will also have a giant LED video wall, which will be the largest LED facade wall ever built.

“The LED wall will give us an opportunity to transmit information. As thousands of people will come in the convention centre, the wall will work as a source of entertainment during events like cricket matches, concert, political events and news,” tells Kukreja.

He also speaks about the “Indianness” the IICC will boast of. According to him, the centre will demonstrate the diversity and culture of India. The roof of the building will use photovoltaic cell, an electrical device that converts the energy into electricity.

It will also have “rangoli patterns which are generic. Since the roof will be large and flat, these photovoltaic cells will generate lots of solar energy.”

Not just a convention centre, there will be a 20,000-seater indoor area. The unique feature is a retractable roof, which will be open only when the weather is conducive.

Since the area will play host to hundreds of people coming to see the events, an underground parking facility will accommodate 27,000 cars inside the complex.       “The facilities that are coming up here such as retail, recreation and hotels and restaurants, these kind of facilities will become assets to people living around Dwarka. They will not have to travel far to avail such facilities,” says Kukreja.

He points out such sophisticated spaces not only bring business to the country, they also attract tourists. For the Diplomatic Enclave, the IICC will be an added advantage. “It will also become easier for the embassies and their trade sections to work closely with us to host more and more events.”

He says the government is proposing another Aerocity within the IICC. The Master Plan has been approved by the local authority including the SDMC. Tenders will be called for developers to build hotels.

Not just the diplomatic enclave and convention centre, DDA recently announced that it plans to develop business parks at five to seven locations, Dwarka being one of them. Each project will be built over 25 acres.

It has also announced to develop the areas around Dwarka Sector 18 and 21 Metro stations, which the authority is calling “Transit-Oriented Development.” The plan is to develop commercial, housing and public facilities around the area of these metro stations.

Early this year, Delhi transport minister Kailash Gahlot also announced that the city will get five new bus terminals, two out of five coming up in Dwarka. A 29-km expressway is being built at a cost of Rs 9,000 crore.

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