The Delhi High Court has rejected a plea challenging the Union government’s ambitious Central Vista redevelopment project in the national capital. The high court termed the plea as “motivated” and also penalized the petitioner by imposing a fine of Rs 1 lakh, while saying that the project is of national importance.
The petition was moved by Anya Malhotra and Sohail Hashmi. The duo claimed that the work on the Central Vista project should be halted for a while as hundreds of labourers were being exposed to the deadly virus.
The high court said that the labourers are staying at the construction site and therefore, no question arises of halting the construction work amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Notably, the Opposition has severely criticised the central government for having “misplaced priorities” and going ahead with the Central Vista project amid the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic that has wreaked havoc in the country.
What the court said
The division bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh said that the legality of the project has been already upheld by the Supreme Court. The court said that as per the contract awarded to the Shapoorji Pallonji Group, the construction has to be completed by November, and it should be allowed to continue.
“The whole Central Vista is an essential project of national importance where the sovereign functions of the Parliament will be conducted. The public is widely interested in this project,” it said
What govt argued
During the hearing of the petition, the Centre had argued that the petition was an attempt to block the project and a sheer abuse of the process of law. The government contended that the petition should be dismissed by the court and a fine should be imposed on the petitioners.
Central Vista project
The Central Vista project includes constructing a new Parliament House, a new residential complex that will house the Prime Minister and the vice president, as well as several new office buildings and a central secretariat to accommodate ministry offices.
The new parliament complex and buildings will have parking for at least 16,000 cars. Contract of only two projects worth Rs 1,339 crores have been awarded till now.
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