Govt will comply with SC's suggestions on Central Vista project, says Hardeep Puri

ANI
·3-min read
Hardeep Singh Puri speaking to ANI in New Delhi on Tuesday.
Hardeep Singh Puri speaking to ANI in New Delhi on Tuesday.

New Delhi [India], January 5 (ANI): Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri on Tuesday said that the government will comply with suggestions made by the Supreme Court while giving go-ahead to the Central Vista project and added that the new Parliament building will represent the aspirations of India.

"It gives us clearance to move ahead with the project. The Supreme Court has made some suggestions. We will comply with all of them. My position on this all along has been that we will go strictly according to the rulebook. If there are some procedures that need to be tweaked, we will happily do that," Puri told ANI.

"New (Parliament) building will represent the aspirations of India. The present building is 93 years old and wasn't built by the Indian elected government. It was built under colonial domination. It is a project for posterity and will celebrate our democracy," he said.

Puri said that the government will follow the highest standards for environmental protection in executing the project.

"The Court has said that smog towers should be integrated into the building. The minute we saw the judgement we were already in touch with our consultant," he added.

In a veiled attack on Congress, the Union Minister said that many people who are raising questions over the project had made the same demand in the past.

"There is a bit of confused thinking and selected amnesia. Many people who are questioning the project now were demanding the new Parliament when they were in power. In 2012, a Rajya Sabha MP in an interview clearly asked for a new Parliament because the present one is inadequate, not functional. The OSD to the Speaker Meera Kumar has written a letter to Secretary, Urban Development giving exactly the same reasons which this government has been citing on the need of a new Parliament... The demand is there from 2012," he said.

Puri said that the present Parliament is too small and it is in a state of advanced disrepair.

"Things are falling. It is no longer safe. It used to be in seismic zone 2. Today it is in seismic zone 4. Therefore we need to build a new Parliament. The new building will be there for the next 200 or 250 years. Therefore, this will be a symbol of the aspirations of new India," he said.

Pronouncing the judgement by a majority, the Supreme Court this morning gave its go-ahead for the construction of the new Central Vista project in the national capital. The Apex Court did not find any infirmity in the grant of approval and modifications in the change of land use.

The Apex Court said in its judgement that heritage conservation committee approval is needed when construction work is to begin and directed the project proponents to get approval from the heritage committee.

There are a number of petitions challenging the construction of the Central Vista Project at the Lutyen's zone, alleging certain violations, including change in land use and environmental compliances.

Earlier, the Supreme Court on December 7 had allowed the foundation stone laying ceremony for the new Parliament building on December 10 but directed that no construction should take place.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had laid the foundation stone and performed 'Bhumi Pujan' for the construction of the new Parliament building, which is a part of the Rs 20,000 crores Central Vista project on December 10. (ANI)