Amidst the ongoing controversy surrounding the Central vista project, a government official in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has informed that the project will save ₹1000 crores worth of rental expenditure each year.
As per reports, the Centre spends a whopping ₹1000 crore on renting buildings to house various government offices in central Delhi. The Central vista project will accommodate all such offices in the newly constructed buildings. He added, “Several offices of the central government are scattered in different places and many are in rented buildings that require huge amount. Once entire Central Vista project gets completed, all offices will come under one place. This will not only save the rent, but also have better co-ordinated workplaces.”
Under the central vista project, a total of 10 new buildings will be constructed while existing structures will be demolished on either side of Rajpath. A new Parliament building, MP offices, new residences for PM and Vice-President of India will be constructed while the central vista avenue in Rajpath will be remodelled. The overall cost of the project is estimated to be around ₹20,000 crores and is likely to be completed by 2026. Reportedly, none of the existing heritage buildings will be demolished as part of the project. Currently, only the new Parliament building and Central Vista Avenue are being built.
Delhi High Court terms Central vista project essential, fines petitioners
Last month, the Delhi High Court had dismissed a plea seeking suspension of Central Vista project work and had imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh on the petitioners for moving a motivated plea.
Raising concerns over the safety of the construction workers amidst the pandemic, a joint petition was filed by Anya Malhotra, a translator, and Sohail Hashmi, a ‘historian’ and documentary filmmaker who claimed the work does not fall in the essential category and can be put on hold. However, the Centre had already submitted in their response stating that utmost care had been taken with on-site accommodation and “access to immediate medical attention and proper care made available on site.
Court’s order specified that the DDMA had nowhere in its order prohibited the construction work and that the work is scheduled to be completed by November 2021 as time is of the essence in the contract. Solicitor General Tushar Mehra, representing the Centre, had said that the petition was a “facade” and a “disguise” to stall the project which was agreed by the Bench who dismissed the petition.