The newly appointed Indian High Commissioner Muktesh Pardeshi was able to flag-off the stalled construction work of the much-awaited new office building of the High Commission.
Mr Pardeshi attended a formal pooja on Wednesday, September 11, along with his wife Rakhi Pardeshi and senior officials C Doss Jeyakumar, Head of Chancery, and Paramjeet Singh, the Second Secretary, at the Indian High Commission.
Speaking to the Indian Weekender Mr Pardeshi said, “I am very happy to kick start our dream project of having a permanent building for High Commission of India in New Zealand which has been operating since the 1960s.
“It is very centrally located and is designed to reflect the image of India. The comfort of consular service seekers has been kept in mind.
“We will also have a place for conferences, concerts and interactive meetings with community and other stakeholders.
"Hopefully, it will be completed by the first quarter of 2021,” Mr Pardeshi said.
Notably, the construction work of the building was stopped since last year when one of the companies responsible for construction work busted, thereby delaying the much-awaited construction of a place that many in the office fondly calls as "a house to call as home."
The construction of the building began in 2016, after seven years of wait from 2009 when the Government of India had first purchased the land for the building.
However, as it turned out later, that the project was stalled due to a construction partner going bust, and since then a lot of efforts were being put behind the scene to get the project restarted.
In this regard, it might not be an exaggeration to say that the new High Commissioner Mr Pardeshi has brought-in some good luck charm for the stalled-building work to start again.
The project is reported to continue with the same design work and the plan that proposed to build 12 apartments for staff, and a reception area for 300 people.
The site is behind the Thai embassy in Thorndon's Pipitea St (Wellington's Parliamentary area) and was bought by the Indian Government in 2009 for $7.3 million.
The construction work has been awarded to M/s. MCKEE FEHL Constructions Ltd., a reputed construction company, and the work is likely to be completed by the first quarter of 2021.