Secretariat Building, New Delhi

Secretariat Building, New Delhi
सचिवालय भवन, नई दिल्ली
Bhārata Kā Mantrimaṇḍala Sacivālaya
Delhi India Government.jpg
Cabinet Secretariat of India located at South Block of the building
Secretariat Building, New Delhi is located in Delhi
Secretariat Building, New Delhi
Location in New Delhi, India
General information
Architectural styleDelhi Order
LocationNew Delhi, India
Coordinates28°36′54″N 77°12′21″E / 28°36′54″N 77°12′21″E / 28.61500; 77.205831912
Completed1927
Technical details
Floor area148,000 sq ft (13,700 m2)
Design and construction
ArchitectHerbert Baker

The Secretariat Building or Central Secretariat is where the Cabinet Secretariat is housed, which administers the Government of India. Built in the 1910s, it is home to some of the most important ministries of the Cabinet of India. Situated on Raisina Hill, New Delhi, the Secretariat buildings are two blocks of symmetrical buildings (North Block and South Block) on opposite sides of the great axis of Rajpath, and flanking the Rashtrapati Bhavan (President's House).

History

The 1931 series celebrated the inauguration of New Delhi as the seat of government. The one rupee stamp shows George V with the "asking Alexandria" and Dominion Columns.

The planning of New Delhi began in earnest after Delhi was made capital of the British Indian Empire in 1911. Lutyens was assigned responsibility for town planning and the construction of Viceroy's House (now Rashtrapati Bhavan); Herbert Baker, who had practised in South Africa for two decades, 1892–1912, joined in as the second in command. Baker took on the design of the next most important building, the Secretariat, which was the only building other than Viceroy's House to stand on Raisina Hill. As the work progressed relations between Lutyens and Baker deteriorated; the hill placed by Baker in front of Viceroy's House largely obscured Viceroy's House from view on the Rajpath from India Gate, in breach of Lutyens' intentions; instead, only the top of the dome of Viceroy's House is visible from far away. To avoid this, Lutyens wanted the Secretariat to be of lower height than Viceroy's House, but Baker wanted it of the same height, and in the end it was Baker's intentions that were fulfilled.[1]

After the capital of India moved to Delhi, a temporary secretariat building was constructed in a few months in 1912 in North Delhi. Most of the government offices of the new capital moved here from the 'Old Secretariat' in Old Delhi, a decade before the new capital was inaugurated in 1931. Many employees were brought into the new capital from distant parts of British India, including the Bengal Presidency and Madras Presidency. Subsequently housing for them was developed around Gole Market area.[2]

The Old Secretariat Building now houses the Delhi Legislative Assembly.[3] The nearby Parliament House was built much later, and hence was not constructed around the axis of Rajpath. Construction of Parliament House was begun in 1921, and the building was inaugurated in 1927.

Today, the area is served by the Central Secretariat station of the Delhi Metro.