As Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugrates work for new parliament today, contentions about the Central Vista Project still float in the air.
Prime Minister Modi has laid the foundation stone for the new parliament buiding today which will be spread over 64,500 square meters and will be located at the centre of the revamped power corridor of India.The rconstruction of the Indian Parliament falls under the highly contentious Central Vista Project. The Central Vista project includes construction of a new Parliament building, with the existing building converted into a museum. Five big office buildings each would come up on both sides of Rajpath. While the Vista project was directed by the apex court to be put on a halt, it allowed the Prime Minister to lay the foundation stone.
A statement from the Prime Minister’s office said ” The New Parliament Building will be modern, state-of-the-art and energy efficient, with highly non-obtrusive security facilities to be built as a triangular shaped building, adjacent to the present Parliament.”
“Lok Sabha will be three times of the existing size and Rajya Sabha will be substantially bigger. The interiors of the new building will showcase a rich blend of Indian culture and diversity of our regional arts, crafts, textiles and architecture. The design plan includes space for a magnificent Central Constitutional Gallery, which will be accessible to the public.” it further said.
Seismic danger has been presented as one good reason by the centre for shifting the parliament house whereas, the entire Vista project has been planned to make the iconic symbol of India’s capital. The seismic anger claims have observed as absurd by some since, no proper study has been conducted about the same and the idea of expanding and buiding new structures haven’t gone down very well with the environmentalists, conservationists and architects either who are constantly questioning the centre about the necessity to build the same.
Prime Minister’s claims about democracy thriving in India, at the grand foundation ceremony were considered to be absurd by many since it has been constantly dismissing the objections and reservations of the critics about the project. The secrecy that has enveloped this entire plan from the very beginning. Professional bodies like the Institute of Urban Designers, India (IUDI), The Indian Society of Landscape Architects (ISOLA), and the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), who intended to offer serious inputs to the government about this project, did not recieve any substantial response from the government and hence they could never offer serious inputs.
In a country whose economy is grappling with the consequences of a pandemic and a country which ranks fifteenth from the below in the Global Hunger Index, how significant a new parliament building is and how relevant spending Rs. 20,000 crores by a government is still a question.