The Delhi High Court dismissed a petition seeking to halt the construction activities at the Central Vista Avenue Redevelopment Project in view of the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in the country.
- It remarked that there was no reason for the court to suspend the construction activities as the workers were staying at the project site, and “COVID-19 protocols are adhered to and COVID-19 appropriate behaviour is being followed”.
- The petitioners had argued that the project was not an essential activity and hence, it could be put on hold for now during the pandemic.
- The court noted that the work at the Central Vista Avenue Redevelopment was part of the Central Vista Project and of vital public importance and the legality of the project had been upheld by Supreme Court.
About the Central Vista Project
The details about the Central Vista Project are as follows:
Aim: The Central Vista Project envisages redeveloping Central Vista as a world-class public space, restoring its grandeur as an architectural icon, housing modern facilities for the efficient functioning of the administration, strengthening cultural institutions and commemorating 75th year of Indian Independence.
Aatmanirbhar Bharat: As quoted by ANI, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla stated that the new Parliament building will be one such temple of Aatmanirbhar Bharat, reflecting the diversity of India.
Bigger than the old one: The new Parliament building will be 17,000 sq km bigger than the old Parliament building.
Earthquake resistant: The new Parliament building will be earthquake resistant.
Area: The building will span across 64,000 sq. km. area and will be built on plot number 118 of the Parliament House Estate.
Cost: The projected cost of the new Parliament building is Rs. 971 crores.
Time: The new Parliament building is expected to be completed by 2022 and a common Central Secretariat by March 2024.
Height: No new building will surpass the height of the India Gate.
Complex for MPs: A new complex will be constructed for the Members of Parliament of both the Houses at the existing Shram Shakti Bhawan.
Contract for construction: In September 2020, the Tata Projects Ltd. won a contract worth Rs 861.90 crore for the construction of the new building on a bid of Rs 865 crore.
Parliament session in the new building: In the 75th year of independence (2022), Parliament session will be held in the new building. As many as 1,224 MPs can sit together in the new building.
Design: Ahmedabad-based firm – HCP Design, Planning and Management Pvt Ltd. has won the consultancy bid to revamp Central Vista.
Archaeological Asset: The existing Parliament building will be conserved as it is an archaeological asset of the country, the government has said.
Conversion of North and South blocks: The North and South blocks will be converted into museums.
Indigenous Architecture: The new Parliament will have four floors– basement, ground, first and second. It will integrate the indigenous architecture and the height will be same as the new building.
Buildings to be demolished: The Nirman Bhawan and Vigyan Bhawan are among those buildings which would be demolished.
Reconstruction: The Prime Minister Office and the residences of Prime Minister and Vice President will be reconstructed.
Why there’s a need to revamp Central Vista?
Inadequate infrastructure: The Government highlighted that the old Parliament buildings have an inadequate infrastructure to meet the present demand.
Structural lives: Most of the old buildings of Central Vista have outlived their structural lives.
Inter-departmental coordination: At present, the Central Government offices are spread over different locations, affecting the inter-departmental coordination, unnecessary travelling which leads to congestion and pollution.
What is Central Vista?
Central Vista of New Delhi houses Rashtrapati Bhawan, Parliament House, North and South Block, India Gate, among others. These iconic buildings were constructed before the inaugural of new capital in the year 1931.
The Central Vista was designed by:
Parliament House: The Parliament House was designed by Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker.
Rashtrapati Bhavan: The Rashtrapati Bhavan was designed by Edwin Lutyens.
North and South Block: The North and South blocks were designed by Herbert Baker.