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‘Critics of Central Vista project cunningly quiet on Defence Offices Complexes’: Says PM Modi inaugurating new defence offices in Delhi

The defence offices located in WW-II era dilapidated hutments, barracks and horse stables will be shifted to new Defence Offices Complexes at Kasturba Gandhi Marg and Africa Avenue in New Delhi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday inaugurated the Defence Offices Complexes in Delhi and lashed out at critics of the Central Vista project for spreading lies and misinformation about this project. The new office complexes located at New Delhi’s Kasturba Gandhi Marg and Africa Avenue were inaugurated by the PM in the presence of Union ministers Rajnath Singh and Hardeep Singh Puri and Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat.

The three service chiefs — Army Chief General MM Manoj Mukund Naravane, IAF Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria and Indian Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh were also present at the ceremony to inaugurate the new offices.

Defence Offices Complexes is a part of the ambitious Central Vista project of the Narendra Modi led NDA government worth around Rs 20,000 crores and the project is likely to be completed by 2026.

As part of the Central Vista project, army establishments located in the central vista area have been relocated to the new Defence Offices Complexes built at Kasturba Gandhi Marg & Africa Avenue in New Delhi. At present, the army offices in the central vista area are located in hutments, which were actually temporary houses, barracks and horse stables built by the British during the Second World War. For the last several decades, part of India’s army establishments were operating from these dilapidated houses.

According to the Central Vista Development project, these hutments, along with several office buildings housing various ministries, will be demolished, and new Secretariate Office buildings will be built in their place, which will house all the secretariate employees of all the central ministries. When completed, the project will save a whopping Rs 1,000 crore per year, as at present several ministry officers function from private buildings in Delhi. Heritage buildings, including the current Parliament House, North Block and South Block will not be demolished.

“Those who were behind the Central Vista project with sticks in their hand are cunningly quiet that this (defence Offices Complexes) is also the part of the Central Vista project where infrastructure is being developed for more than 7000 army officials. Because they knew that the moment the truth will be known they will not be able to bluff people anymore. But the country is watching what we are doing in the name of Central Vista,” Narendra Modi said while addressing the gathering.

The PM also asked why the media never wrote about the poor condition of defence offices running for hutments at Raisina Hill.

PM Narendra Modi added that those spreading lies about the Central Vista were not concerned about the conditions in which armed forces personnel were working. The new office complexes constructed by Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry have an office space of 9.60 lakhs sq feet which is far spacious and superior to the old offices at the Raisina Hills.

Narendra Modi added that the two new multi-storey office complexes built on the Kasturba Gandhi Marg and Africa Avenue will make it convenient for armed forces to operate and discharge their duty towards national security in a better way. The prime minister said that this defence office is a step towards the development of a modern defence enclave in the national capital. “This is a big and important step,” he said.

PM Narendra Modi further added that the entire world is now watching the Central Vista is being established on the pedestals of modern technology. It aims to provide quality infrastructure to army officials working 24X7. The Prime Minister said that at a time when “we are focusing on ease of living and ease of doing business, modern infrastructure plays an important role in this,” and added that the Central Vista reflects that spirit of ease of living and doing business.

PM Modi said that the Defence Offices Complexes project was completed in 12-13 months against an estimated time of 48 months. The new defence office complexes will accommodate around 7,000 officials from the ministry of defence and the Armed Forces, including the Army, Navy and Air Force. Apart from offices, the complexes also include residential and lodging facilities for employees and visitors.

The Prime Minister sounded confident that the new Parliament building would also be completed in time.

The completion of the first leg of the project and the commission of the overall project is not a small achievement at a time when the Covid 19 pandemic had emerged as a huge challenge before the nation coupled with the opposition parties that had left no stone unturned to scuttle this project.

Breaking barriers of absurdity, Rahul Gandhi of the Congress had called the Central Vista a criminal wastage and the rest of the opposition too was on Pied Piper way.

A self-proclaimed translator Anya Malhotra and herself proclaimed historian friend Sohail Hashmi had filed a petition at Delhi High Court to stop the ongoing work stating that as part of the Covid 19 protocols the construction work can’t be undertaken. While the High Court rejected their petition they were also fined Rs one lakh for moving a motivated plea.

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