Amid Covid-19 spike, the Environment Ministry’s expert appraisal committee (EAC) has granted the necessary clearance for the new residence of the Prime Minister, part of the Central Vista revamp project on Monday.
According to the Central Public Works Department (CPWD), the nodal agency for the Central Vista Project, the new residences of the Prime Minister and Vice President will be completed by May and December 2022 respectively.
Besides the PM’s new house, the EAC of infra 2 gave go ahead for construction of the proposed 10 common official complex buildings, the central conference centre, PM’s special protection group accommodation and Vice President’s enclave. Though the approval for the entire central Vista redevelopment project costing Rs 13,450 crore came last month, the minutes of the meeting were made public on the Parivesh portal of the Ministry of Environment on Monday.
The first three buildings are expected to be completed by May 2023, the SPG by Dec 2022, the other 7 office complexes between March 2024-June 2025 and the central conference centre by December 2026, as per the official statement.
The revised timeline has drawn flak from several quarters, questioning why can’t the project be deferred when the country is battling with the pandemic and looking at help from abroad to tide over the crisis. While others are furious at the government’s decision to move forward with the construction at a time when the country is facing a huge economic crisis.
Calling the move grotesque, CPM leader Sitaram Yechury tweeted, No money for oxygen and vaccines as our brothers and sisters die waiting for a hospital bed to be cremated in parking lots. BUT Modi will squander public money to feed his megalomaniac vanity. Stop this Crime.
Even some government officials in anonymity had opposed the project saying that the government can put on hold some of these projects which have not been bid out. And the projects that have been awarded must not be stopped as it results in wastage of public money.
Under the Central Vista redevelopment project, the PM’s new house will be shifted behind the existing South Block, while the V-P’s residence will be relocated behind North Block. The New Delhi Municipal Council will provide a total of 7,818 KLD of water, and 73,440 KW of power when the buildings become operational. Nine sewage treatment plants are proposed for treatment of waste to be generated by the entire area. Rainwater harvesting tanks will also be set up for 3050 cu.m capacity, according to the Ministry.