The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to stay the Central Vista project, a Rs 20,000-crore venture that aims to build a new Parliament and other central government offices in Lutyens’ Delhi, NDTV reported.
The petitioner, Rajeev Suri, had challenged the land use for the project, claiming that the 86 acres being taken up will deprive people of open and green spaces. The petition also said that “irreversible” activities such as demolishing of buildings, cutting of trees, and excavation of land will be carried out for the project, Bar and Bench reported.
“A similar petition against the project is pending in court,” Chief Justice of India Sharad Arvind Bobde said. “During Covid-19 situation, nobody is going to do anything and there is no urgency.” The judge added that he can amend the other petition instead.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the government, claimed that no one should have an objection as the Parliament was being constructed.
Gujarat-based company HCP Design, Planning and Management Private Limited won the contract in October last year to revamp the Central Vista and Parliament. The three-km-long Central Vista stretches from the Rashtrapati Bhavan to the India Gate. On March 20, the Centre notified the change in land use for the project.
The new plan, according to the tender floated for it last year, is supposed to represent “values and aspirations of a New India – Good Governance, Efficiency, Transparency, Accountability and Equity and is rooted in the Indian Culture and social milieu”.
The project aimed to redesign the Central Vista by November 2020, with further changes to Parliament and the ministries over the subsequent four years. However, there will be no external changes to the Parliament facade, Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri had said last year. It is, however, unlikely to meet the deadline because of the ongoing health crisis.