Delhi High Court rejects plea looking forward to halt Central Vistas

On Monday, the Delhi High Court rejects the petition looking forward to stopping the construction of the Central Vista project concerning the recent increase in the Covid-19 cases in the capital.

A bench of two judges Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh mentioned that workers working on the project stay in sight. Therefore, no point in halting the construction works. The High Court also added the project deadline is before November 2021. Workers are staying within the construction site where all facilities are provided and all Covid-19 norms are adhered to, therefore, no point to halt the project. This is not the legit PIL.

High Court penalized a cost of Rs. 1 lakh on the petitioners mentioning this was the motivated petition.

The two petitioners Anya Malhotra and Sohail Hashmi stated that the Central Vista project is not a necessary activity. Hence, it could be suspended for now during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Central Government has responded in opposition and by stating that it was pretence and a “disguise” in the form of a PIL petition to stop the project. Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, had stated that the nature of PIL was very selective. He also added, the petitioners do not care about the workers working on the other construction site in the city.

Also, On Saturday, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority permitted the construction activities. Sidharth Luthra, representing the petitioners stated that his clients were only concerned about the health and safety of the citizens of Delhi, and if the Central government could not understand it, then it was a sorry reflection of their concerns for the lives of the citizens.

Plea on Central Vista rejects by Delhi HC

What is Central Vista Project?

The 42.6 lakh square feet existing buildings are being demolished. New buildings of 1.89 crore square feet will be built. The budget allocation for the project is around Rs. 13, 450 crore, which will have 6.94 lakh square feet of new parliament house.

Is the construction of the New Parliament House is at the cost of India’s fight against Covid?

No, the construction of CVP is not done at the cost of India’s fight against Covid. Currently, India’s yearly healthcare budget is around Rs. 2.3 lakh crore, in which over Rs. 35,000 crore has been separately allocated for Covid. Last year around 15% of India’s GDP e.g. Rs. 30 lakh crore, has been infused into the economy by PM Modi in order to provide the necessary support to the weaker and marginalized section of society.

In a tweet, Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said, “Congress’s stand on Central Vista Project is unconventional. The budget of CVP is around Rs. Rs. 20,000 crores, over several years. The government has spent almost two times that amount on India’s vaccination. India’s healthcare budget for this year alone was over Rs. 3 lakh crore.”

He also added CVP is not the new project. During the UPA government, Congress leadership has written about the need for a new parliament. The then speaker Meira Kumar in 2012 and Sumitra Mahajan in 2015 wrote to Urban Development Secretary and Urban Development minister respectively for the same.  

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Aishaan Sinha

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