Around 7,000 officers and subordinates of different units of the Defence Ministry, and the armed forces will soon be moved into the two new Defence Ministry office complexes that have been prepared at the combined cost of Rs 775 crore. The two complexes in Delhi, one on Africa Avenue and another on Kasturba Gandhi Marg, will have a combined office space of 9.6 lakh sq.ft.

While the Defence Ministry has paid for the new office complexes, the work has been carried out by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development as part of their Central Vista project.

As reported by The Indian Express on September 9, that the construction for the buildings has been wrapped up, Senior Defence Ministry officials said on Tuesday that the work for the complexes has been finished in about a year’s time, during the pandemic, as the final decision to construct them was given a go-ahead only around April 2020.

The officials said that the shifting of officers and subordinates will start immediately.

A senior official said that it is a “big thing for us” as it will be the first time that the ministry will have a full-fledged proper office complex”. The official said that it will be the “largest office space outside South Block” where the Ministry headquarters are located. “These scattered offices are coming to one place, which will improve the efficiency and cohesiveness between the various departments and organisations,” the official added.

“Over 7000 officers and staff belonging to 27 different organisations” which are “attached offices of the Ministry, service headquarters and other subordinate offices are going to get new office complexes,” the official said.

All these 7000 personnel are being relocated from the multiple hutments near the North and South Blocks, many of which had been occupied around World War 2. Officials mentioned that the officers and subordinates who will move to the new complexes are working from Hutments A. B, E, G, H, J, L and M and on plots 30, 108 and the hutments in the Jodhpur House.

“In doing this, the personnel will get modern office space and amenities,” said the official. The new offices, the official said, will have modular seating with the latest communication technology. Further, with multi-level space for around 1500 cars in the two new complexes together, it will also solve the major parking issue that is faced by many of these officers.

Another important element of the new complexes, the official noted, is that they are eco-friendly. Also, he said that “not a single pre-existing major tree has been affected” in construction of the two complexes.

“We have made available 50 acres of land,” by giving up the hutments from which the officials were working at the moment, while the new complexes “have used 13 acres of land on the new plots”. The space given up by the Defence Ministry will be used for the Central Vista Development Master Plan.

And yet, the official said that the office space being given up is 9.22 lakh sq.ft, and will get 9.6 lakh sq.ft in new office space, as the buildings are multi-storeyed.

The complex on KG Marg will have three blocks, which will house 14 offices in a space of 4.52 lakh sq.ft. Similarly, the complex on Africa Avenue with a total space of 5.08 lakh sq.ft will get 13 new offices.

The Ministry had constituted a Joint Coordination Committee under JS & CAO, Defence Ministry, “to coordinate various requirements of specific organisations, space allocation, common amenities” the official mentioned. He added that the committee also included representatives of the Department of Military Affairs, Department of Defence Production, Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare (ESW), Department of Defence R&D and three Services. “The process of allocation of office space, infrastructure, movement plan has progressed smoothly,” said the official.

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