The Supreme Court on Tuesday cleared the decks for the construction of the ambitious Central Vista Project. The top court upheld the environmental clearance and the notification for change in land use for the project, which covers a three-km stretch from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate in Lutyens’ Delhi.
A three-judge bench headed by Justice A M Khanwilkar, by 2:1 majority, held that the grant of environmental clearance and the notification for change in land use for the project was valid. Justice Khanwilkar, writing the judgement for himself and Justice Dinesh Maheshwari, also directed that the project proponent set up smog tower and use anti-smog guns at the construction site for the Central Vista project.
Here’s a 10-point guide on the revamped Parliament of India – the Central Vista:
- The Central Vista revamp, announced in September, 2019 envisages a new triangular Parliament building, with a seating capacity for 900 to 1,200 MPs, that is to be constructed by August, 2022 when the country will be celebrating its 75th Independence Day. The common Central Secretariat is likely to be built by 2024 under the project.
- The top court’s verdict came on several pleas on the issue, including the one filed by activist Rajeev Suri, against various permissions given to the project by authorities including the grant of environmental clearance and the nod to change of land use On December 7, last year the top court had allowed the Centre to proceed with the foundation stone-laying ceremony for the Central Vista project on December 10 after the government assured it that no construction or demolition work would commence till the apex court decides the pending pleas on the issue.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi had laid the foundation stone for the new Parliament building and the construction is expected to be completed by 2022 at an estimated cost of Rs 971 crore.
- The apex court had earlier said that any change at the ground level made by authorities for the Central Vista project will be “at their own risk". It had made it clear that the fate of the project, which includes several new government buildings and a new Parliament House, will depend on its decision.
- The Centre had argued in the top court that the project would “save money" which is paid as rent for housing central government ministries in the national capital. It had submitted that the decision to have a new Parliament building has not been taken in haste and no law or norms have been violated in any manner for the project.
- The Shram Shakti Bhavan and Transport Bhavan in Lutyens’ Delhi will be the first two buildings to be razed to pave the way for the construction of chambers of Members of Parliament there as part of Central Vista redevelopment project.
- In the new Parliament building, the Lok Sabha chamber will have a seating capacity for 888 members, while the Rajya Sabha will have 384 seats for members.
- The National Emblem will crown the new Parliament building. According to the plan, a tunnel would be constructed to connect the building with chambers of MPs in the Parliament complex.
- “The new Parliament will have six committee rooms to conduct business," an official from HCP Design, Planning and Management Pvt Ltd, said. The government has identified around four locations — in Gole Market, K G Marg, near Africa Avenue and near Talkatora Stadium — in central Delhi for the temporary shifting of offices of various ministries.
- Government sources said that the demolition of buildings will be carried out in phases to ensure smooth functioning of various ministry offices. To construct Common Central Secretariat for ministry offices, several buildings like Shastri Bhawan, Udyog Bhawan, Nirman Bhawan and Krishi Bhawan among others are likely to be demolished.
- The redevelopment project of Central Vista — the nation’s power corridor — envisages a new triangular parliament building, a common central secretariat and revamping of the 3-km-long Rajpath, from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate. According to the CPWD’s latest proposal for the redevelopment of Central Vista, the prime minister’s new residential complex will have 10 four-storey buildings with a maximum height of 12 metres.
- The Central Public Works Department (CPWD), which is executing the project, has revised the estimated cost from Rs 11,794 crore to Rs 13,450 crore. The prime minister’s new residence will be built on a 15-acre plot and it will have 10 buildings and they will have ground plus three floors, the CPWD said in its proposal.