The Army headquarters will be moved from the iconic South Block at Raisina Hill to the Delhi Cantonment area, people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is slated to “perform the ‘bhoomipujan’ (ground-breaking) ceremony” on Friday for the construction of the new ‘Sena Bhawan’, they said.
“The ‘Sena Bhawan’ spread over 39 acres would come up in five years time near the Manekshaw Centre in the Delhi Cantonment area,” a source said.
South Block is part of the historic Raisina Hill complex built during the colonial era as part of the “new imperial capital” of the British Raj.
The North Block and South Block, Viceroy’s House (now Rashtrapati Bhavan) and Parliament House, surrounded by lush green landscape and imposing fountains, were built during the construction of ‘New Delhi’ starting 1912.
The North and South Blocks in Lutyens’ Delhi are likely to be converted into a museum, as part of the government’s Central Vista redevelopment project, officials in the Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry had said in January.
The official in the HUA Ministry, the nodal agency for the ambitious redevelopment project of the Modi government, had said people would have access to North and South Blocks once they are turned into museums.
At present, the South Block houses the Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Defence and Ministry of External Affairs, while the North Block has offices of Home Ministry and Finance Ministry. The two blocks fall under a very high-security zone.
The redevelopment of the Central Vista envisages a triangular Parliament building next to the existing one, a common Central Secretariat for ministries and the revamping of the three-km-long Rajpath — from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate.