Supreme Court will hear plea to stop Central Vista works
Anya Malhotra and Sohail Hashmi filed a petition in the Supreme Court asking the court to halt all construction activity on the Central Vista redevelopment project in accordance with orders issued by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority while the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic is in its peak.
As we reported earlier, the Rs 20,000 crore Central Vista project in Delhi is set to continue amid the second wave of Covid-19, as it has been declared under the "essential service" category.
The petitioner's lawyer was also instructed by the apex court to first circulate the case details to all parties involved before filing an appeal against the Delhi High Court's order to stay work on the Central Vista project.
Earlier, the Delhi High Court said it would hear the plea on May 17 in detail, asking for a direction to suspend all construction activity on the Central Vista Avenue Redevelopment Project.
Meanwhile, appearing for the Union of India, Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma opposed the plea, claiming that the petition's credentials are questionable.
The petition claimed that, at a time when Delhi is dealing with the second wave of Covid-19, and all efforts, especially by the state and its agencies, must be directed toward controlling the spiralling situation, the respondents' actions will nullify and negate all of those efforts.
The petitioners raised questions on why or how the project qualifies as an essential service simply because some executive-mandated contractual deadline must be met, according to the plea.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had inaugurated the Central Vista Development Project in December 2020.
Rajpath, Parliament House, Rashtrapati Bhavan, India Gate, North Block, and South Block, Shastri Bhavan, and Udyog Bhavan are among the 86 acres of land in Delhi that will be renovated as part of the project. The project calls for the construction of a new Parliament building, a central government secretariat, the Prime Minister's office and residence, and the Special Protection Group building, and Vice-President Enclave.
The project has been under construction since January 2021, when the Supreme Court dismissed petitions challenging the project.