US-India partnership one of the most consequential of 21st century: outgoing envoy Ken Juster

PTI, Jan 8, 2021, 7:01 PM IST

The US-India partnership is one of the most consequential relationships of the 21st century, outgoing American envoy to India Ken Juster said on Friday at the ground breaking ceremony of a new Chancery building for the US Embassy here. In a demonstration of the deep ties of friendship that underpin the US-India Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership, Juster, India’s Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri, and Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia broke ground on the new Chancery building, a statement by the US Embassy said.

In his remarks at the event, Juster said, “The project we celebrate today is more than a series of buildings and infrastructure. It reflects America’s enduring commitment to the US-India partnership and is a testament to the strength and longevity of that partnership”. “The US India partnership is one of the most consequential relationships of the 21st century and as Minister Puri stated it covers a broad range of issues including non proliferation, counterterrorism, trade, investment, energy, environment, health, education, science and technology, space and so much more,” he said.

The new Chancery building will stand adjacent to the iconic original Chancery and the Ambassador’s Residence at Roosevelt House on the Embassy campus in New Delhi’s diplomatic enclave in Chanakyapuri. Friday also marked the 62nd anniversary of the ground-breaking of the original Chancery in 1959. Designed by world-renowned architect Edward Durell Stone, the original Chancery was celebrated for its fusion of modern American architecture with elements of traditional Indian design, the Embassy statement said.

Frank Lloyd Wright called the Chancery “one of the finest buildings of the past 100 years”. The original Chancery and Roosevelt House are now listed on the Secretary of State’s Register of Historically Significant Properties. With a connecting central green space and a series of cast stone screens, canopies, and garden walls, the new Chancery will reflect historic and modern traditions in New Delhi while introducing a resilient design that brings the campus into the 21st century, thanks to the work of the US architecture firm Weiss/Manfredi, the statement said.

Environmental stainability is central to the design and construction process. The new Chancery will meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards at the silver level, it said. During the construction process, designers will also upgrade the entire Embassy compound with a range of ecologically resilient strategies to create an integrated and sustainable campus.

These improvements include photovoltaic arrays and solar hot-water heaters, a wastewater treatment plant to support irrigation, sustainable building and site designs, and a water-efficient fountain redesign with underground storm water collection, the statement said. When the new Chancery is completed, the US Embassy in New Delhi will join a long list of over 50 LEED-certified US diplomatic posts, reaffirming the US commitment to construct green buildings for a more sustainable future, it said.

In his remarks, Puri lauded Juster’s contribution in strengthening India-US relations, saying ties were stronger, more enduring and with greater potential now as compared to when the envoy had come to India. Juster’s tenure in India was over three years after he was appointed by the US president on November 3, 2017, to be the 25th United States ambassador to India.

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