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Central Vista Vital and Essential National Project: Delhi HC Rejects Request to Stop Work Amid Covid Pandemic | India News


NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Monday dismissed a petition seeking instructions to suspend all construction activities for the Central Vista Avenue Redevelopment Project. The continuation of the project was questioned in view of the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
A bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Judge Jyoti Singh dismissed the allegation saying the petition was “motivated” and “not a genuine PIL”. The court imposed a cost of Rs 1 lakh on the petitioners.
The court also allowed construction of Central Vista to continue, saying it was a “vital and essential” national project.
The higher court, although it refused to suspend construction, said that since the workers remain at the site, “the question of suspending the works does not arise.”
“The DDMA order in question nowhere prohibits construction work,” the Delhi high court said.
The court said that under the contract awarded to the Shapoorji Pallonji Group, the work was to be completed in November 2021 and therefore should be allowed to continue.
He said that the legality of the project has already been confirmed by the Supreme Court.
Why was the construction of Central Vista opposed?
In the joint submission of Anya Malhotra, translator, and Sohail Hashmi, historian and documentary filmmaker, the petitioners had argued that the project was not an essential activity and may be suspended for the time being.
During the May 17 hearing, the Center described the allegation as a “facade” or a “disguise”, intended to paralyze the project.
The petitioners, on the other hand, maintained that they were only interested in the safety of the workers at the site and of the citizens living in the area.
The petitioners’ lawyer compared the project to “Auschwitz”, a German concentration camp during World War II. The petitioners’ attorney, Sidharth Luthra, had argued that the Center’s claim about the availability of medical facilities, a testing center and other services at the site was false.
What were the arguments of the Center?
During the hearing, strong arguments were formulated against the maintainability of the statement.
Attorney General Tushar Mehta, who came forward for the Center, however, had made strong exceptions to the project being dubbed “Auschwitz” and said that “one can criticize and be poisonous” about it, but such terms should not be used. in the tribunals.
Contrary to the petitioners’ assertions, the Center’s legal officer had said that one of the petitioners had opposed the project long before it was approved by the Supreme Court in January of this year.
He said that the petitioners are not concerned about the health and safety of workers at other works in the city.
“The public interest is very selective (in the present case) on the health of the workers,” he added and urged the court to dismiss the statement.
He said the petitioners cannot decide what is the safe timeline for completing the project and that the company must complete it in November for the Republic Day parade to take place on Rajpath.
What is the Central Vista project?
The project comprises construction activities on Rajpath and the surrounding meadows from India Gate to Rashtrapati Bhawan.
The project foresees the construction of a new House of Parliament, a new residential complex to house the offices and the Prime Minister and the Vice President.
It will also have new office buildings and a Central Secretariat to house the offices of various ministries.
(With inputs from agencies)

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