Central Vista project a criminal wastage, says Rahul Gandhi
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday slammed the Centre over the Central Vista project, a redevelopment project to construct a new Parliament and a common central secretariat. Terming the project as "criminal wastage," Gandhi wrote, "Put people’s lives at the centre- not your blind arrogance to get a new house!" on Twitter.
Over the last year, Gandhi and the Congress have been asking the government to shelve its plans on the Central Vista project and give priority to improving medical infrastructure as the country reels under the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Cases have spiked to unprecedented levels in the country, while the healthcare system has been burdened to the breaking point.
Earlier this week, the environment ministry’s expert appraisal committee (EAC) granted the necessary clearance for the Central Vista project. The project has been designated as an "essential service", hence getting exemption from the lockdown restrictions in the national capital which is severely hit by the pandemic.
According to the CPWD’s submission to the ministry, the work on the new Parliament has been scheduled to be completed by November 2022, the vice-president’s enclave by May 2022, and the PM’s residence and the SPG building by December 2022.
This has drawn strong objections by opposition parties and activists with many raising concerns regarding the well-being of construction workers.
A plea has also been filed in the Delhi high court seeking immediate suspension of construction activity in Central Vista during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic to protect the life of the workers and those involved in the project.
Workers are being exposed to the infection on a "daily basis while working and that too without payment", petitioners claimed in their plea.
The government will shell out around Rs.13,450 crore on the makeover plan which also saw the construction of a common Central Secretariat and revamping of the nearly 3.5-km-long stretch from the Rashtrapati Bhavan to the India Gate.