The Supreme Court, on Tuesday, gave a go-ahead to the Union government’s Central Vista project. The apex court said that exercise of the power under DDA Act is just and valid. “The recommendations of environmental clearance by the Ministry of Environment is just, valid and proper and we uphold the same,” said the SC.
The project was challenged by petitioners for environmental clearance and several other aspects.
The project envisages a new triangular Parliament building, with a seating capacity of up to 1,200 MPs. It is estimated to be constructed by August 2022, when the country will celebrate its 75th Independence Day.
On December 7, the top court had expressed strong dissatisfaction with the Centre for reportedly initiating construction process with announcement of groundbreaking ceremony for the new Parliament building under the Central Vista project, even as the issues connected with the redevelopment plan was under its consideration.
The top court had said that it expected that it is dealing with a prudent litigant and that some deference will be shown. “We don’t mind if you do paperwork, or lay foundation stone but no construction should be done,” said the court.
There was an announcement by Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla of the government’s plans for Bhoomipujan for the new Parliament building. “We clarify that the authorities would be free to continue with procedural processes without altering the status of the site(s) in question in any manner, including to continue with the scheduled programme of foundation stone-laying on December 10, 2020,” said the top court.
On December 10, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had laid the foundation stone for the new Parliament building. The construction is expected to be completed by 2022 at an estimated cost of Rs 971 crore and the common Central Secretariat is likely to be built by 2024.
The petitioners had challenged the project and alleged that there is an illegal change in land use and have urged the court to quash the project. The petitioners have challenged a notification issued by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) on December 21, 2019 regarding changes in land use for the redevelopment.