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25 Apr 2017

Outrage after Pragati Maidan's Hall of Nations demolished

Outrage over demolition of Pragati Maidan buildings

Conservationists have expressed outrage over the Indian Trade Promotion Organization's decision to demolish 5 buildings in Pragati Maidan, including the Hall of Nations and Hall of Industry.

The buildings were razed despite an ongoing hearing in the Delhi High Court on a petition to save these buildings.

ITPO is setting up an Exhibition-cum-Convention Centre at a cost of Rs. 2,254 crore at the location.

In context

Outrage over demolition of Pragati Maidan buildings

Outraged by the demolition: Architect, engineers

Architect Raj Rewal and structural engineer Mahendra Raj said "We consider the demolition of the Hall of Nations at Pragati Maidan an act of outrage. The case was being heard in the Delhi HC and the hearings were scheduled on April 27, May 1, 2017."

Why do conservationists want to save the buildings?

Preserve the building?

Why do conservationists want to save the buildings?

The buildings' architect Raj Rewal and the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage filed a petition in the Delhi High Court to save the buildings.

They argued that the buildings were inaugurated to mark India's 25th year of independence, adding that the buildings were among the world's first non-pillared concrete-frames and were a "work of art of national importance."

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Justifies demolition

How did ITPO respond?

The ITPO stated that an earlier case to save the buildings was dismissed by the Delhi High Court and that an appeal had been filed against the dismissal.

However, no stay was ordered on the demolition, hence it was taken forward.

He added that only buildings that are 60 years or older can be declared as heritage sites and these were built in 1972.

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