Gandhi-scion and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi woke up on Friday morning to launch an attack on the Modi government over the redevelopment project of Central Vista in the national capital.
Taking to Twitter, Rahul Gandhi said that the redevelopment of Central Vista is a “criminal wastage” and asked Prime Minister Modi to put “people’s lives at the centre” and not to further the “blind arrogance to get a new house”.
It is important to note that the redevelopment project of Central Vista, i.e., the redesigning of the existing central secretariat offices in the national capital, envisages a new triangular Parliament building, a new common central secretariat and the revamping of the three-km-long Rajpath from the Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate and new residences for the Prime Minister and the Vice President.
Ever since the much-needed ambitious project was launched by the Modi government, Rahul Gandhi and his Congress party have been indulging in politicising the issue by asking the government to shelve its plans on the central vista project. While Rahul Gandhi is busy preaching the Modi government over the Central Vista project, the Congress party-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra has now undertaken a project to construct luxury apartments for the MLAs.
MVA government busy spending crores for new MLA houses in Mumbai
At a time when Maharashtra is struggling to handle the coronavirus pandemic, the Maha Vikas Aghadi government has floated tender seeking bids for the redevelopment of MLA hostel Manora at Nariman Point at an estimated cost of Rs.900 crore. The redevelopment tender floated by the Maharashtra government has now raised eyebrows in the state as critics are pointing out the wasteful expenditure by the government that comes at a time when the state is facing a financial crunch.
Earlier, the Maharashtra government had entrusted the reconstruction of Manora MLA Hostel in Nariman Point to the central public sector undertaking – National Building Construction Corporation.
In 2017, the then Maharashtra government floated the first tender to reconstruct the Manora MLA complex at Nariman Point in Mumbai at the cost of Rs.400 crore. However, citing delay, the newly elected Maha Vikas Aghadi government had transferred the project to the Maharashtra Public Works Department in December 2020.
As the project got delayed, the Maha Vikas Aghadi government has now scrapped the earlier tender and has now put up a new tender by escalating the cost of the project to Rs.900 crores. Speaking to the Times of India, a PWD official said that the cost of the project might escalate further. The electrical work alone is estimated to cost Rs.250 crore, he added.
Reportedly, the proposed MLA hostel, comprising of two towers, is expected to be completed in three years. If built, the hostel will comprise one 42-storey tower and another 28-storey tower with 675 flats in total. Each residence will be spread over 1,000 square feet, of which 600 sq ft will be for the use of the elected representative. The remaining 400 sq ft space can be used for office plus a residence for the personal assistant of the respective MLA and MLC.
The multi-crore project includes the construction of gymnasiums on the terrace, meeting and conference halls, waiting halls for MLA visitors, a canteen, a grocery, a salon, shops, a dispensary and a theatre. The old Manora towers were demolished in 2018 due to their dilapidated condition. Since then, the government has been paying Rs 1 lakh to each MLA per month to find alternate accommodation in the same vicinity.
Instead of questioning the Maharashtra government over the wasteful expenditure of Rs 900 crore on the construction of luxury apartments to its lawmakers during the pandemic, Rahul Gandhi chooses to politicise developmental projects in the national capital and attacks the Modi government over the ambitious Central Vista project that has been planned and funded even before the advent of the Chinese pandemic in the country.