The Delhi High Court on Monday dismissed a petition seeking suspension of construction work of the Central Vista Avenue project considering the present Covid-19 pandemic situation. Describing the Central Vista project as ‘vital and essential’, a bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh said the petition was “motivated” and “not a genuine PIL”. The bench also imposed a cost of Rs 1 lakh on the petitioners.
The court said under the contract awarded to the Shapoorji Pallonji Group, work had to be completed by November 2021 and, therefore, it should to be allowed to continue. It said the legality of the project was already upheld by the Supreme Court.
It added that even the Delhi Disaster Management Authority allowed it to continue, workers were already present at the site and, therefore, “we see no reason to stop the work”.
The plea for halting the work was moved by Anya Malhotra, a translator, and Sohail Hashmi, a historian and documentary filmmaker. The two had contended in their PIL that the project was not an essential activity and can be put on hold for time being.
The project entails construction activities on Rajpath and the surrounding lawns from the India Gate to the Rashtrapati Bhawan, according to the petition, filed through advocates Gautam Khazanchi and Pradyuman Kaistha. The project envisages building a new Parliament House, a new residential complex to house offices and the prime minister and the vice president. It will also have new office buildings and a Central Secretariat to accommodate various ministries ‘offices.
With PTI Inputs