Engineering Council of India
Dr. Uddesh Kohli
Chairman Emeritus: Construction Industry Development Council
Former: Chairman, Consultancy Development Centre; CMD, Power Finance Corporation; Adviser, Planning Commmission
November 26, 2015

Sub: Demolition of Hall of Nations & Industries (Halls 5&6) and Nehru Pavilion at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi.

Hon’ble Minister

Engineering Council of India (ECI) was incorporated as the apex body of Engineers in India in 2002, under the Patronship of the then Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission, by coming together of a large number of professional organisations / institutions of engineers in various disciplines to work for the advancement of engineering profession.

It has come to the notice of the ECI that the India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) has plans to facilitate redevelopment of the Pragati Maidan Complex and that there are plans to inter-alia demolish the Hall of Nations & Industries (Halls 5&6) and the Nehru pavilion. You would appreciate that these structures are not just iconic but also unique in the World.

The Hall of Nations is the largest span Concrete Space Frame Structure in the World. It stands testimony to India’s achievements and excellence in both Architecture and Engineering. These structures blend well with the other Heritage Structure in the vicinity of Pragati Maidan, viz. the old Fort of Delhi, hence these structures should also be treated as Heritage Structures and preserved for posterity. Their functional use could be varied with time albeit with the proviso that their Architectural and structural integrity are not impaired.

Reportedly, the Indian Institute of Architecture has sent photographs of these iconic structures, ie., of the Hall of Nations & Industries (Halls 5&6) and the Nehru Pavilion, which are a few of the most celebrated post-independence examples of great modern Architecture, for being exhibited to celebrate the Modern Architecture of the World at the Pompidu Museum (sic!), Paris.

We therefore request your good self to please cancel any proposal to demolish the Hall of Nations & Industries (Halls 5&6) and the Nehru Pavilion at the Pragati Maidan Complex.

With kind regards,
Yours Sincerely
Uddesh Kohli
Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman
Minister of State for Commerce and Industry (Independent Charge)
Udyog Bhawan
New Delhi 110107