The Supreme court has scheduled to pronounce its verdict today on a batch of pleas that challenged among other important aspects, the environmental clearance that has been granted for the implementation of the Central Vistas project.
The revamp of Central Vista
This project was announced in September 2019, envisages the creation of a triangular parliament building with a seating capacity for 900 to 1200 MPs. This ambitious project is to be implemented by August 2022, when the country will be celebrating its 75th Independence Day. However, the batch of pleas was filed against the Common Secretariat building that is to be constructed by 2024.
A Bench consisting of Justice Sanjiv Khanna, Dinesh Maheshwari, and A.M Khanwilkar is going to deliver its verdict on the batch of pleas which it had stayed earlier in last year.
On December 7th last year the SC approved to proceed with the Foundation stone laying ceremony after the Govt assured the top court that there will be no construction, demolition, or felling of trees for the purpose of the ceremony. Succeeding this approval, the Prime Minister laid the foundation stone on December 10th last year for the new parliament building. According to Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla, the parliament will be constructed at an estimated cost of 971 Crore.
The SC had made it clear that any progress from this point will only be after it pronounces its verdict on the pleas and any changes at the ground level made by the authorities of the Central Vista project will be “at their own risk”.
The Centre argued earlier, against the pleas that the project will actually “save money” that had to be paid as rent for the housing central government ministries in the capital.
The Centre submitted that the decision to have a new parliament building was clearly thought of and not taken in haste. It added that there has been no favouritism or arbitrariness in selecting a consultant for the project and the Gujarat-based architecture firm HCP designs have won the consultancy bid to reform the Central Vista.
The Centre strongly argues that the mere contention that the project could have been implemented better cannot be a ground to scrap the project.
On the other hand, the pleas have raised questions on the grant of the no-objection certificate by the Central Vista Committee, it has also expressed its resentment over the environmental clearances for the construction of the building.
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