Work on the Central Vista project is expected to be complete by 2024, when the next general elections take place in India. (Image: Twitter @LokSabhaSectt)
The Central Vista project, which was halted by the Supreme Court, is a redevelopment of the “power corridor of India”. While the apex court has directed the Centre to stop all work on the project until further order, it has allowed Prime Minister Narendra Modi to lay the foundation stone for the new Parliament building on December 10.
What is the Centra Vista project?
The Central Vista project is a redevelopment project aimed at giving a new spatial identity to the power corridor of India. Under the project, a new Parliament building and a common secretariat among others will be constructed along the Rajpath, i.e., the stretch between the Rashtrapati Bhavan and the India Gate in New Delhi.
The plan involves shifting the Prime Minister’s residence near the South Block where the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) is located, while the Vice-President’s house will be constructed closer to the North Block. Notably, the Vice President’s current residence is among the buildings that have been marked for demolition. Meanwhile, the North and South blocks, located on either side of the Rashtrapati Bhavan, will be converted into museums.
The new state-of-the-art Parliament Building Complex will be spread over 64,500 square metres; it will be located at the centre of the "revamped" power corridor of India. The building is expected to be remarkably bigger than the current Parliament building, which is a heritage structure. The building will be so large it will be able to seat 888 MPs in the Lok Sabha chamber and 384 MPs in the Rajya Sabha chamber. Additionally, all parliamentarians will get separate offices in the new complex.
Work on the Central Vista project is expected to be completed by 2024 when the next general elections take place in India.
Why has the Supreme Court halted the Central Vista project?
The Supreme Court has halted work on the project as it is currently hearing 10 petitions challenging the redevelopment plan. Till the time the case is sub-judice, no construction work will be done, the apex court has told the Centre.
The court said: “The fact that there is no stay does not mean you can go ahead with everything. We did not expect you to go ahead and start construction so aggressively. We only allowed you to go ahead with the paperwork, but we are now concerned over all this.”
The top court is hearing a batch of petitions against the mega project concerning violation of environmental norms and possible destruction of heritage structures, among others. It pulled up the Centre after the Bharative Janata Party government announced that the construction work is set to begin soon, and trees are being translocated at the moment to facilitate the same.