Lift veil from Central Vista redevelopment plan: CPI(M) to Modi govt

New Delhi, Feb 9 (PTI) The CPI(M) on Sunday demanded that the government 'lifts the veil' from the redevelopment plan for the Central Vista in Delhi, and said such a historical project should not be rushed.

According to the plan, the government would redevelop the 3 km-stretch of the Central Vista spanning from the Rashtrapati Bhavan to the India Gate with the Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry saying that the entire project will be completed by 2024.

On September 2 last year, the Centre had floated a request for proposal for the 'development or redevelopment of Parliament Building, Common Central Secretariat and Central Vista.' 'The Politburo of the CPI(M) calls upon the BJP government to lift the veil from the proposed project of redevelopment of the Central Vista in Delhi. Apart from the citizens, it is the Parliament that will get most affected.

'It is therefore imperative that the government discusses the details of the project in the ongoing budget session of Parliament. Such a historical and important proposal should not be rushed through,' a statement from the party said.

It said the Centre must know that the land in consideration for the Central Vista belongs to the people, and the government is just the custodian.

'The Supreme Court has already laid it down in the 2G spectrum allocation case the precise definition of natural resources and the limits to the manner of government intervention. The government therefore cannot unilaterally decide on the project,' the CPI(M) said.

The Delhi Development Authority conducted a two-day public hearing on February 6 and 7 where a large number of urban planners, environmentalists and other sections of the society participated.

The CPI(M) said there is a general and genuine concern of the citizens that the Central Vista project has been designed in an 'ambiguous and hidden' manner.

'It is the responsibility of the government to provide certain facts to Parliament and the public before going any further with the project,' it said.

The list of information that the CPI(M) demanded that the government provides to Parliament, included a list of 'all buildings intended to be demolished in Central Delhi and in the vicinity of the Central Vista, list of new buildings to be built in Central Delhi and in the vicinity of the Central Vista, total cost of the entire project and its year-wise outlay'.

The party also sought to know the time which would be needed to reconstruct the Central Vista, the list of changes proposed to the Master Plan for the reconstruction and the total area that will be affected by the proposal.

It also demanded to know whether environment impact assessment study has been carried out for the proposed project by an independent authority.

'The re-development proposed for the construction of the Central Vista can not violate the existing master plan of Delhi without completing due processes provided by law. There is no information in the public domain about how the construction of the Central Vista will impact the heritage area of Delhi.

'The CPI(M) demands that the government puts the project on hold and first discuss it in the Parliament as it concerns the reconstruction, redevelopment and expansion of the Parliament building which is unique to Delhi, country's capital,' the statement said. PTI ASG NSD