Central vista project is an ambitious initiative by the Narendra Modi-led NDA government at the Centre to reconstruct a 3.2-kilometer stretch known as the Central Vista in the heart of Lutyens Delhi, which was erected by the British in the 1930s. In 2019, The national government proposed this renovation project to give India’s “power corridor” a new identity. The Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs is in charge of the project, which is expected to be finished by 2024 and its estimated cost is more than Rs. 20,000 crore. The main vision of this project is to symbolize India’s commitment to confront the tough challenges that have afflicted it for decades and it is relentlessly focused on modernizing in order to satisfy the needs and ambitions of its inhabitants. Tradition is respected, but it is not held captive by it. The project is environmentally conscious yet not paralyzed by it.
This project which intends to renovate and enlarge India’s Parliament, Prime Minister’s home, and numerous other official buildings at a cost of Rs 20,000 crore, has been dubbed a sign of indifference and highlighted as an example of the administration’s misdirected priorities during the Covid-19 epidemic. The criticism to central vista project can be seen in various instances as follows:-
On July 12, a Maharashtra-based organization held a public gathering in the capital to protest the project, claiming that the country “needs hospitals, not a new Prime Minister’s home.” The Central Public Works Department restricted photography and video recording at the building site in May, when the project was attracting criticism for continuing despite the devastating second wave of Covid-19, allowing for even more severe criticism.
Due to many criticisms and reacting to opposition’s objections the central government released a document busting all the myths related to this ongoing project to bring a reality amongst citizens of India.
According to the report and defining the current activity at the project site, the central ministry stated that suspending it at this point would result in the government incurring responsibilities under existing contracts and jeopardizing the interests of the employees. Inflation is also a major concern if the project is delayed. The government also stated that environmental sustainability is at the heart of the Central Vista project, dispelling the misconception that it will harm the environment. No heritage structures, including India Gate, Parliament, the North and South Blocks, the National Archives, and others, would be demolished, according to the administration. The center has also rejected claims that the Prime Minister’s new home will cost Rs 13,450 crore. The estimate covers a number of projects, including ten structures, according to the ministry, which also stated that the construction work for the Prime Minister’s house has yet to be bid and that the government has given no approval. The major criticism of continuing the work amid covid 19 was also dismissed by the government by citing that the work comes under Essential Services Act. On May 31, the Delhi High Court also dismissed a petition challenging the Central Vista Redevelopment project’s ongoing construction operations, calling the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) a “illegal motivation” to halt the work.