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'False allegations levelled': Govt clears air on 1,300 crore Central Vista project

New signboards prohibiting videography and photography have been put up along with barricades near the India Gate lawns where work is underway on the Central Vista redevelopment project, in New Delhi.Premium
New signboards prohibiting videography and photography have been put up along with barricades near the India Gate lawns where work is underway on the Central Vista redevelopment project, in New Delhi.

  • Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri has said that no design had been cleared for a new Prime Minister's residence and only two projects - the Parliament building and the widening of the central vista stretch - were underway

The Central Vista is a grand redevelopment project for building what will be the power corridor of India, having a new Parliament building, a common central secretariat and revamped three-km-long Rajpath, from the Rashtrapati Bhavan to the India Gate.

However, over the last few weeks, the Central Vista project has become a topic of debate and discussion across the country.

Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Monday hit back at the Opposition's criticism over the Central Government's Central Vista project, saying a "false narrative is being propagated" over the project. None of the historic and cultural buildings will be touched, Puri said.

The Union Minister also said that several false allegations have been levelled against the Centre. "I am have been noticing that for these past few months that a false narrative is being created. And if the political class should be careful if it talks about these things. Others need to be careful as well," Puri said while addressing a press briefing.

Puri also said no design had been cleared for a new Prime Minister's residence and only two projects - the Parliament building and the widening of the central vista stretch - were underway.

The "Centra Vista" and "Centra Vista Avenue" were being freely interchanged, the union minister said.

The Parliament building is being constructed at an estimated cost of 862 crore and the Central Vista Avenue at 477 crore.

"Currently, two new projects are underway -the New Parliament Building and Central Vista Avenue. A decision on these projects was taken before the pandemic. The total cost of the project is around 1300 crore," he added.

Central Vista essential project, work to continue: Delhi HC

Meanwhile, the Delhi High Court today allowed construction work on the project to continue and imposed a fine of 1 lakh on the petitioners for their "motivated" plea.

Describing the Central Vista project as "vital and essential", the court said the legality of the project was already upheld by the SC. It added that even the Delhi Disaster Management Authority allowed it to continue, workers were already present at the site and, therefore, "we see no reason to stop the work".

A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh dismissed the plea seeking to halt the project during the coronavirus pandemic, saying the petition was "motivated" and "not a genuine PIL". It imposed a cost of 1 lakh on the petitioners.

The project entails construction activities on Rajpath and the surrounding lawns from the India Gate to the Rashtrapati Bhawan, according to the petition, filed through advocates Gautam Khazanchi and Pradyuman Kaistha.

The project envisages building a new Parliament House, a new residential complex to house offices and the prime minister and the vice president. It will also have new office buildings and a Central Secretariat to accommodate various ministries 'offices.

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