- Essential project of national importance, says Bench
- Petition is motivated one, not genuine
- Imposes a fine of one lakh on petitioner
New Delhi: A Plea seeking to halt the construction work of Central Vista Avenue in national capital, Delhi, was dismissed by Delhi high court. The whole project is an essential one of national importance where sovereign functions of the Parliament will be conducted and public is widely interested in this project, the Bench said.
The Bench also slapped a cost of Rs 1 lakh on the petitioner citing lack in bonafide on their side and felt that Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was not genuine
Supreme Court urged the Delhi HC to consider the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by petitioner Anya Malhotra seeking a stay on construction work of the Central Vista project in New Delhi amid the prevailing condition of COVID-19 cases across the country and asked the high court to issue orders related to the matter.
The need of new Parliament building, Central Vista
The Parliament building being constructed will not be simply an additional workplace but a temple of democracy. India will rejoice 75 years of her independence in 2022, which is a historic milestone for one of the vibrant democracies in the world. To notice this occasion, Peoples’ Parliament building is being constructed by 1.4 billion Indians for the first time in our history.
It’s seen that throughout the world, no nation treats its Parliament as simply one more building. Instead, it’s revered as an emblem of nationwide delight that brings needed changes in tune with the course of history. India, which is the largest democracy in the world, is placed rightly in that direction. This project, in reality, aims to carry the essential administrative workplaces of Indian democracy collectively and shape them into an organized and interlinked form.
The present Parliament building, built in 1927, has inadequate infrastructure to meet current demand. Consequently, the need arose for a new building. Central government offices are spread over different site, which affects inter-ministerial coordination and unnecessary travel leading to traffic jams and pollution. In addition, most of the existing buildings have exceeded their life which is usually 75 years.
Further, the development of the common central secretariat will create modern work areas with the latest technology for better productivity and efficient use of human resources. Apart from this, the government at present is spending almost Rs. 1 billion a year on rent for its offices spread throughout Delhi. With the redevelopment, the government aims to provide more office space in its surroundings saving Rs. 1000 cr. annually for government.
Providing security and protection to the government workplace will also be easy in an organized location that the new model is intended to achieve. The building will meet the highest standards of structural safety, including adherence to Seismic Zone-5 requirements and is designed to facilitate maintenance and operations.
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Why now amidst Pandemic?
A nation cannot be placed in a state of constant lockdown, that may end-up ruining livelihoods, and a partial calculated relaxation that paves the way for economic activities is needed. Otherwise it would end up with more damage as the construction project could provide employment for many.
Now, think about what happens when a development project is put on hold to avoid “waste of money”. It is the construction workers, the suppliers of raw materials, those who manage the machines and others who are deprived of opportunities. This is the exact segment that everyone, was supposed to represent in demanding livelihoods amid the lockdown. It gives direct and indirect employment to many which is very much needed.
As India aspires to be a US $ 5 trillion economy by 2024 and US $ 10 trillion by 2030, building a new parliament will be a project of national integration instilling a sense of national pride among its citizens. The large infrastructure that symbolizes national pride is also in line with Prime Minister’s prestigious ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat.’
Significance of new building
The significance of this new building has been well-explained by the statement from the Prime Minister’s Office. “The new building is an intrinsic part of the vision of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ and will be a landmark opportunity to build peoples’ Parliament for the first time after independence, one which will match the needs and aspirations of ‘New India’ in the 75th anniversary of independence in 2022,”