Current Affairs

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Current Affairs


Date : Nov 11, 2021

Description :

Based on an Article published in ‘The Hindu’ on 11th November 2021 on Page Number 1 and 6:


Useful for UPSC CSE Prelims and Mains (GS Paper I and GS Paper III)


What is Central Vista Project:


  • Central Vista is a 3.2 kilometre stretch in Delhi which houses Rashtrapati Bhawan, Parliament House, North and South Block, India Gate, National Archives among others.


  • All these iconic buildings were constructed before 1931, the year in which the new capital was inaugurated.


  • The Central Vista Redevelopment Project is a government’s plan for the construction of a new parliament building which will be close to the existing one.


Overview of the Central Vista Project:


  • The Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs proposed a Central Vista redevelopment project in 2019.


  • The project intends to construct a triangular-shaped Parliament building next to the existing one, construction of Common Central Secretariat, revamp of the 3 kilometres long Rajpath from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate.


  • It also includes the conversion of North and South Blocks into museums and the development of Central Vista Avenue.


  • To accommodate the offices of various ministries, 87 storied buildings will be built for the common Central Secretariat.


  • Nirman Bhavan, Krishi Bhavan, and Vigyan Bhavan will be demolished under this project


Need of Revamping under the Central Vista Project:


  • Inadequate facilities and infrastructure of the Parliament building to meet the current demand.


  • The offices of the Central Government are spread over different locations which affect inter-departmental coordination, and unnecessary travel leading to congestion and pollution.


  • Most of the existing buildings have outlived their structural lives.


Aim of the Central Vista Project:


  • This project is proposed to meet the present & future needs of space for Parliament, Ministries and Departments, as well as to provide better public facilities, amenities, parking facilities, etc.


  • Citing fire safety, acoustics concern, the dilapidated condition of the century-old construction, the redevelopment project is planned.


  • Under this ambitious project, there will be a new Parliament building by July 2022 and a common Central Secretariat by March 2024.


  • Once this project is completed, the strength of the parliament has been expected to increase from 545 seats to 900 seats.


  • The project also envisions to improve the beauty of Central vista to make it a world-class tourist attraction.


Background of the Central Vista Project:


  • In December 1911, King George V made an announcement in Delhi Durbar (a grand assembly) to shift the capital of India from Calcutta to Delhi.


  • Delhi Durbar was hosted to mark the coronation of King George V.


  • The task of constructing a new city was given to Edwin Lutyens, known for his strong adherence to European Classicism and Herbert Baker, a prominent architect in South Africa.


  • Herbert Baker is also the architect of the Union buildings at Pretoria, South Africa.


  • Parliament House building was designed by both Lutyens and Baker.


  • Madhya Pradesh’s Chausath Yogini Temple inspired the design of Indian Parliament.


  • Rashtrapati Bhavan was designed by Edwin Lutyens.


  • The Secretariat which includes both north and south block was designed by Herbert Baker.





Central Government’s Stand on the Central Vista Project:


  • Underlining the cost and infrastructure advantages of the proposed project, the Centre told the SC that the question whether or not to have a new Parliament building is a policy decision which the government is entitled to take.


  • The government had taken an important policy decision to construct a Parliament complex and central secretariat as the existing one is under tremendous stress. 


  • Further, the project cannot come up at Noida or elsewhere, but on Central Vista.



Arguments Put Forward by the Central Government on the Central Vista Project:


  • Pre Independence building: The current one was built in 1927 to house the legislative council and was not intended to house a bicameral legislature that the country has today.
  • Lack of Space: The current building will be under more stress when the number of seats to Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha are raised. 
  • Both Houses are already packed and members have to sit on plastic chairs when joint sessions are held, diminishing the dignity of the House.
  • Safety Concerns: The existing building does not conform to fire safety norms.
  • Water and sewer lines are also haphazard and this is damaging its heritage nature.
  • Security concerns in the wake of the 2001 Parliament attack shows its vulnerable nature. 
  • It is also not quake-proof.
  • Cost Advantage: Many central ministries are housed in different buildings with the result that the government ends up paying rent for many of them.
  • The new building, a new central secretariat will help avoid this.
  • Environmental Benefits: The fact that people and officials have to run around the city to go to different ministries also increases traffic and pollution.
  • The project also proposes interlinking of metro stations which will minimise use of vehicles.


Criticism of the Project:


  • The Opposition, environmentalists, architects and citizens have raised many concerns even before the pandemic brought in extra issues.
  • They have questioned the lack of studies to ascertain the need for the project and its impact on the environment, traffic and pollution.


  • Several key approvals for the proposed Parliament building have been pushed during the lockdown.


  • This led to allegations of a lack of transparency.


  • They argue that in the situation created by the pandemic, the project must be deferred as the country can’t afford it at this time.


Way Forward:


  • Proper rules and regulations must be followed by the concerned authorities.


  • Supreme Court should monitor the entire construction activity to enhance the trust, transparency and accountability of the government.


  • Proper discussions be held at regular intervals and the views and recommendations of multiple stakeholders must be taken into account.


  • The National Green Tribunal should also ensure that no environmental violations take place during the entire duration of construction of this project.


Tags : central vista, parliament, government of India

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