The Congress party on Tuesday called the government’s Central Vista project a case of ‘misplaced priorities’ of a ‘whimsical autocrat’ hours after the Supreme cleared the redevelopment plan which includes construction of a new Parliament Building and a common Central Secretariat.
“The ₹13,450 CR Central Vista Project is not a legalistic issue but a case of ‘misplaced priorities’ of a ‘whimsical autocrat’ seeking to etch his name in the annals of history with cement & mortar,” the grand old party’s national spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala wrote on Twitter.
He also took a swipe at the Centre over the purchase of “aircraft for the Prime Minister” and deduction of allowances for soldiers and central government employees. “Ironical that In times of Corona pandemic & economic recession, Delhi has ₹14,000 CR for Central Vista & ₹8,000 CR for buying aircrafts for PM. But the same BJP Govt imposes cuts of ₹37,530 CR in allowances of 113 Lakh Armed Forces & Central Govt Employees & Pensioners,” he wrote in another post on the microblogging site.
Surjewala went on to accuse the government of having no time to provide ‘heated tents and equipment’ to army men braving the cold in Ladakh. “PM must not forget that he has imposed cuts of ₹11,000 CR on 15 lakh Soldiers & 26 lakh Military Pensioners. And the same BJP Govt at Centre has no time to provide ‘heated tents and equipment’ to our soldiers braving brazen Chinese incursions in Ladakh,” he tweeted.
Earlier in the day, the apex court gave a go-ahead to the Central Vista project by a 2:1 majority. The three-judge bench, however, insisted that the clearance of the Heritage Conservation Committee (HCC) will be mandatory and the same should be obtained by the project consultant before proceeding with the development work.
The redevelopment plan includes a new Parliament building, and a common secretariat for Central government offices along with the Prime Minister office and residence, Special Protection Group building and Vice-President Enclave.
Apart from a new Parliament building, the Central Vista project involves constructing a common Central Secretariat along with residences of Prime Minister and vice-president, and a revamp of the 3-km-long Rajpath, from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate.
The new triangular complex, often described as the centre-piece of the Central Vista project, will be big enough to house 1,224 MPs lawmakers — 888 in the Lok Sabha and 384 in the Upper House. It is targeted to be built by 2024. The 64,500 sq m new building will replace the 93-year-old existing Parliament house.