CENTRAL PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT
The Central Public Works Department (CPWD), is the principal agency of the Government of India for creation and maintenance of all Central Government assets excluding those belonging to Railways, Defence, Communication, Atomic Energy, Airports (National and International) and All India Radio. CPWD was created in July 1854 when the then Governor General, Lord Dalhousie, decided to set up a central agency for execution of 'Public Works'. Ajmer Provincial Division was the first unit to be created and it executed many works including famine relief. However, the present form of CPWD was created in 1930.
Central Public Works Department handles a wide range of projects pertaining to Housing and Office space and complexes, Hospitals, Workshops and Factories, Hostels and Hotels, Food Grain storage structures, Roads, National Highways, Bridges and Flyovers, Airports, Computer Centers, Environmental and other utility services. It also executes Border Fencing, Flood lighting and Road projects in difficult terrain and under hostile conditions along the Indo Pak and Indo-Bangladesh border. It is an organization which can render the most comprehensive services in the field of planning, designing, construction and maintenance management, for all Civil Engineering projects with Total Quality Assurance.
Over the years the department has created structures with engineering excellence. It has to its credit construction of a number of prestigious buildings like Rashtrapati Bhawan, North Block, South Block, Parliament House, Vigyan Bhawan and many Multi storied office and residential Structures all over the country. It has also developed infrastructure for sports, education, agriculture etc. It is actively involved in providing facilities for the Central Para Military Forces. Department has also executed many overseas works such as construction of Embassies and Hospital Buildings in various countries and Roads & Bridges in Nepal. Presently it is executing works in Afghanistan for the Ministry of External Affairs.
Involvement of CPWD with a project starts from the stage of selection of site, carrying out geo-technical investigations, collection of field data, assisting the client in analyzing their requirements, preparation of architectural, structural, electrical, air conditioning and landscape designs and drawings, undertaking construction management including quality assurance and continuing its responsibility through post completion maintenance management etc.
The Department is moving forward in the field of construction by developing innovative techniques and adopting state-of-the Art technologies. Environment friendly construction materials and technologies as are identified and selected in close liaison and co-ordination with Research Organizations are used. Even though baselines are yet to be developed, Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) has been accepted as requirement of the present for posterity.
CPWD is playing a major role towards sustainable development of human settlement. It has also developed expertise in Rehabilitation of Structures and is imparting its expertise to rehabilitate structures in distress. A manual for Repair and Rehabilitation of Buildings has been recently brought out by the department.
CPWD has well documented Specifications & Standards and Schedules of Rates, which are updated from time to time, to keep pace with latest Technologies and market trends with a definite Quality Assurance Plan. These publications are followed by various construction organizations both in public as well as private sectors. Besides this, the department brings out a number of manuals for assisting in execution of projects. Guidelines for designing buildings for elderly and disabled people, Manual of rain water harvesting etc. published by CPWD have been found very useful by everybody.
The department also assists (a) Income Tax Department in implementation of Direct Tax Law in so far as they relate to immovable properties; (b) Ministry of Environment and Forest's Civil Construction Unit; (c) PWD of Andaman and Nicobar Islands and National Capital Territory of Delhi.
Establishment has Director General Works as its head. Jurisdiction of the department is divided into seven regular Regions. The Director General Works is assisted by Additional Director General (Works) for effective control of works and in administration matters. Its field units are located all over India to take up construction and maintenance works even in the remotest parts of the country. Through its countrywide network of planning and construction units, it is in a position to undertake the works of Public sector Undertakings and Autonomous bodies as Deposit works also.