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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

  • 01 June, 2021

  • 15 Min Read

Central Vista project essential, of public importance: Delhi HC

Central Vista project essential, of public importance: Delhi HC

  • The Supreme Court, in a majority judgment, gave its go-ahead to the multi-crore Central Vista redevelopment project, which proposes to build a new Parliament three times bigger than the existing 93-year-old heritage building and modify the use of 86.1 acres of land, home to India’s power corridor in the national capital.
  • In their majority opinion, Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari said the court cannot order the government to desist from spending money on one project and use it for something else.
  • They said the government did not act against public trust.
  • They brushed aside allegations that the government committed foul play and illegally carved out the Parliament project from the Central Vista project.

  • The majority opinion said the project did not involve any “radical” change in land use. The proposed change in the landscape would not limit “recreational spaces” for the public.
  • It dismissed notions that the project was “sui generis” (unique) and deserved a “heightened judicial review”.
  • “The right to development is a basic human right and no organ of the state is expected to become an impediment in the process of development as long as the government proceeds in accordance with the law,” Justice Khanwilkar wrote.
  • Justice Sanjeev Khanna, in a separate dissent, upheld the project bid notice, award of consultancy and the order of the Delhi Urban Arts Commission, but concluded that the Centre did not take the public into confidence about the changes proposed for Central Vista, an area, which in post-Independent India, “inspires and connects common people to the citadels of our democracy”.

About Central Vista Project

  • The Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs proposed a Central Vista redevelopment project in 2019.

The project has the following features

  • Constructing a triangular Parliament building next to the existing one.
  • Constructing Common Central Secretariat.
  • Revamping of the 3-km-long Rajpath — from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate.
  • North and South Block to be repurposed as museums.

Why is the need of revamping Central Vista?

  • The Parliament building’s facilities and infrastructure are inadequate to meet the current demand.
  • The offices of the Central Government are spread over different locations which affect inter-departmental coordination, and unnecessary travel leads to congestion and pollution.
  • Most of the existing buildings have outlived their structural lives.

History of Central Vista: PT Pointers

  • Currently, the Central Vista of New Delhi houses Rashtrapati Bhawan, Parliament House, North and South Block, India Gate, and National Archives among others.
  • In December 1911, King George V made an announcement in Delhi Durbar (a grand assembly) to shift the capital of India from Calcutta to Delhi.
  • Delhi Durbar was hosted to mark the coronation of King George V.
  • The task of constructing a new city was given to Edwin Lutyens, known for his strong adherence to European Classicism and Herbert Baker, a prominent architect in South Africa.
  • Herbert Baker is also the architect of the Union buildings in Pretoria, South Africa.
  • The Parliament House building was designed by both Lutyens and Baker.
  • Rashtrapati Bhavan was designed by Edwin Lutyens.
  • The Secretariat which includes both the north and south blocks were designed by Herbert Baker.

For analysis of the Central Vista Project: Click here

Source: TH


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