The “clock ticks” for post- independence Architecture!! Amen!


Fascinating, it seems when one thinks how during the British era, Delhi earned its status of national capitol, and central power from pre- independence era got strong control in matters relating to the  architecture.

“Clock -ticks” for destruction of Contemporary buildings in the capital that came up in the post-independence period in wake of rapid urbanisation.

Delhi urban art commission realized that generations of nostalgic memories and value attached with Chanakya cinema was destroyed  with its falling to ground.

Perhaps nothing but a “heritage tag “would save the remaining.

Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (Intach), conservation NGO, was entrusted by DUAC to draw up a list of such iconic buildings and submit to The Heritage Conservation Committee(HCC).

The NGO submitted list of 62 buildings that included the Asiad Village, British Council Library, Ashoka Hotel, Pragati Maidan’s Hall of Nations etc., construction completed for some dating back to 1955. That was 2013.(click the underlined to read the link for the list)

With this list HCC  was requested to initiate suggestions for inclusions or deletions as final decision by urban ministry.

But somewhere between the list of 62 submitted by INTACH and its approval, further pruning was done and we lost Hall of nations.(click the underlined to read the minutes).


Every country has passed through the stage similar to what India is passing in the present time. The difference is that western countries had a continuity because of self-rule and that they could organise themselves quickly. The problem in India gets complex because of a complexity of political system, as also priorities. One thing is clear and that Government gets anything done immediately if only there is awareness and political will and this is the key which should be tapped with strategy-Kanvinde, Achyut P..Architecture and Changing Realities.”

-by Ar.Babika Goel

1 thought on “The “clock ticks” for post- independence Architecture!! Amen!”

  1. Yes , the hall of nations has fallen victim to the two devils….red tapism and vested interest.

    It’s time that people wake up before other national monuments fall to the hands of real estate mafia.

    This is sad for architects , as the government has conveniently isolated the group from any decision making.

    Thanks Babika for highlighting this monstrosity so eloquently.

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