Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday took a dig at the Centre for carrying on with the Central Vista project amid a severe second wave of coronavirus in the country.

“Central Vista- not essential, Central Govt with a vision- essential,” Gandhi tweeted on Wednesday. His comment was in reference to the government’s decision to declare construction work for the project as an “essential service”. The decision allows the project to continue even as a lockdown has been imposed in the national Capital.

Currently, only construction projects which have workers staying on the site are permitted to operate in Delhi as per lockdown guidelines. But, an exception has been made for the Central Vista project.

This was Gandhi’s second tweet in less than a week criticising the government for insisting on the project in spite of the pandemic situation. On April 23, the Congress leader had tweeted pointing out that the Centre invited bids for a part of the project even as the country was faced shortages of hospital beds, oxygen and coronavirus vaccines and tests.

The Rs 20,000-crore Central Vista project seeks to redevelop government buildings situated on the three-km stretch in Delhi that runs from the Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate. A new Parliament house is at the heart of the project.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had laid its foundation stone on December 10. The Opposition had criticised the government for excessive spending amid the coronavirus crisis and the farmers’ agitation.

India on Wednesday registered a record 3,60,960 new coronavirus cases in a day, taking the total number of infections since the pandemic broke out in January 2020 to 1,79,97,267. This is the highest ever single-day rise in cases reported by any country so far. The toll rose to 2,01,187, as 3,292 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours.

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