Supreme Court refuses to stay Central Vista revamp project

Supreme Court refuses to stay Central Vista revamp project

The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to stay the Rs 20,000-crore Central vista project, after hearing a petition challenging the Centre’s decision to notify a change in land use regarding the redevelopment plan. A bench led by CJI S.A. Bobde refused to stay the Central Vista project saying, “During COVID-19, nobody is going to do anything. There is no urgency.”

The Central Vista project seeks to build a new parliament and other central government offices in Lutyens’ zone in central Delhi. The petitioner, Rajeev Suri, has already filed a petition against the project and it is pending in the top court. “A similar petition is pending and there’s no need to duplicate it,” the Chief Justice said, adding he can amend the petition.

The petition challenged land use for the Central Vista project. It alleged the project covering 86 acre in Lutyens’ zone is a “brash move” and will deprive people of enjoying open and green spaces.

The Centre last month approved the land use change for execution of its ambitious Central Vista redevelopment project in Lutyens’ Delhi with the issuance of a notification by the Union housing and urban affairs ministry. The redevelopment project of the Central Vista–the nation’s power corridor–envisages a triangular Parliament building next to the existing one, common Central Secretariat and revamping of the 3-km-long Rajpath–from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate.

However, as the nation is braving a lockdown to fight the spread of coronavirus, the government’s ambitious Central Vista redevelopment project in Lutyens’ Delhi has invited criticism from various political quarters. 

The new Parliament House building will come up on a 9.5-acre land near the existing building. Earlier, the plot was meant for development of a district park. According to sources, the prime minister’s residence and office are likely to be shifted near the South Block and the vice-president’s new house will be in the vicinity of the North Block. The vice president’s current residence is among those buildings identified by the government for demolition in Lutyens’ Delhi for the purpose of the project. 

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