The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday gave its go-ahead for the Union government’s massive Central Vista project in New Delhi.
The Central Vista revamp, announced in September 2019, envisages a new triangular Parliament building, with seating capacity for 900 to 1,200 MPs, that is to be constructed by August 2022, when the country will be celebrating its 75th Independence Day.
The SC was hearing a batch of petitions against the project. The petitioners contended that the project would alter the land use pattern permanently and cause ecological damage. They also questioned the authorities for ‘allowing such a change.’
The SC said: “We hold that there are no infirmities in clearances given, change in land use.”
The SC directed the project proponent to install a smog tower and use anti-smog guns at all construction sites.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had laid the foundation stone on December 10 for the new Parliament building and the construction is expected to be completed at an estimated cost of ₹971 crore. The estimated cost of the Central vista project is ₹20,000 crore.
Sixty retired bureaucrats had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, raising concerns over the project. They termed it an ‘irresponsible’ move at a time when enormous funds are required to strengthen the public health system.