The Supreme Court on April 30 refused to stay the ambitious Central Vista project. The apex court was hearing a plea that questioned the lavish Rs 20,000 crore spend when the government was struggling to build cash reserves to fight the pandemic and revive the economy.
The Rs 20,000 crore project aims to build a new triangular parliament building, 10 new buildings to accommodate government offices and new residences for the Prime Minister and the Vice-President.
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The petitioner claimed urgency, arguing before the apex court that the government had already begun seeking clearances from various authorities to begin the redevelopment project.
The petitioner had argued that at a time when the government was indulging in austerity measures such as the halting of dearness allowance (DA) payments to government employees, the use of Rs 20,000 crore for the Central Vista Project was not advisable. The petitioner had sought for rerouting funds to help fight the pandemic and revive the economy.
The court, however, was not impressed. It observed that during the lockdown, it was highly unlikely that any serious redevelopment work could be initiated.
Meanwhile, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the government, rebutted the claims of the petitioners by arguing that the project was aimed at, among other things, to build a new parliament.
Before the Supreme Court, the SG asked, "Why should anyone have an objection (to the construction of a new parliament)?"
Interestingly, in a similar matter, on March 6, the SC had passed an interim order, directing that any steps taken by the authorities, shall be subject to the outcome of the proceedings in SC.Source: CNBC-TV18