Slamming the Centre over its Central Vista project, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Tuesday said that at a time when people are grappling with the shortage of oxygen and vaccines in the country, it would be better if the government deploys all resources in saving lives instead of building a new house for the prime minister. Her attack on the government came over reports that the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) has informed a government-appointed expert panel that the construction of the prime minister’s residence under the ambitious Central Vista project will be completed by December 2022.
”At a time when the people of the country are struggling with shortage of oxygen, vaccines, hospital beds, medicines, it would be better if the government deploys all resources in saving the lives of the people, instead of building a new house for the PM at Rs 13,000 crore,” Priyanka Gandhi said in a tweet in Hindi. ”Such expenses send a message to the public that the priorities of the government are in some other direction,” the Congress general secretary said.
The CPWD, which is the project developer, informed the Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) that the expansion of the Parliament building and the construction of a new Parliament building will be done by November 2022 and the prime minister’s residence will be constructed by December 2022. The Ministry of Environment has already granted the clearance for the expansion and renovation of the existing Parliament building, which is part of the Rs 13,450 crore Central Vista Redevelopment Project.
The redevelopment project of the Central Vista — the power corridor of the country — envisages a new triangular Parliament building, a Common Central Secretariat and the revamping of the three-km-long Rajpath from the Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate and new residences for the prime minister and the vice president. The Opposition has been strongly opposing the project, demanding that all resources should be deployed in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.