P/Minister of Commerce/0339/2015
19th October, 2015
Hon. Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman
Minister of State for Commerce & Industry
Department of Commerce
Ministry of Commerce and Industry
Udhyog Bhawan,
New Delhi, 110 107.

Respected Madam,

The Indian Institute of Architects is the premier body of architects in India.It was founded in the year 1929 and has more than 20,000 architects as its members. The Institute strives to encourage the profession of architecture and the interests of architects in the country. With deep anguish, we write in relation to the proposed plan of restructuring the Pragati Maidan Complex, New Delhi. We have learnt that some of the iconic structures, viz. Hall of Nations and the Nehru Pavilion, which stood testimony to the nation's prowess in structural engineering and architecture on its 25th year of independence, are being demolished to pave way for facilities such as basement parking and a driveway. The Institute had earlier in December 2013 (Letter enclosed) appealed to the Government to reject the proposal of demolition of these buildings.

The Hall of Nations constitutes the largest span concrete space frame structure in the world and was the first of its kind. The architectural ingenuity of this structure has been exhibited in several exhibitions including the Pompidou Museum, Paris and the National Gallery of Modern Art. The Hall of Nations was selected as one of the two structures from the country for an international exhibition of World's Most Important Buildings of the 20th Century. The structure was celebrated by a commemorative stamp issued in 1992 by theGovernment of India. These exhibition halls have not deteriorated structurally in any manner and are still being used to organise exhibitions of International standards. The Nehru Memorial is also an integral part of the complex.

These buildings form an integral part of the iconic contemporary heritage of the nation and such structures must be preserved and conserved. They also symbolize the self sufficiency of the country and provide immense inspiration to the students and practitioners of the profession of architecture. It is suggested that the Government may organize competitions to explore the possibilities of incorporating state of art modern facilities in these buildings in a redeveloped layout plan. The entire community of architects in the country is deeply concerned with the prospect of demolition of these unique iconic structures and therefore pleads that the government may kindly reconsider this decision. The Institute offers its unconditional involvement and support in any decision and action for conservation as a design centre or modernization of these structures.

Thanking you
Yours Sincerely
Ar. Divya Kush