With Delhi's health system deteriorating due to an increase in COVID incidents, one initiative stands out, the Central Vista project. The construction of the Narendra Modi government's ambitious project began in January. The Central Vista reconstruction project, which spans three kilometres from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate, a new triangular Parliament building, a common central secretariat, and the renovation of the three-kilometre-long Rajpath. The project would cost Rs 20,000 crore in total. The contrasting picture in Delhi is a painful sight. The national capital is one of the worst-hit states of coronavirus infection. About 2,267 people have died of the virus in the national capital in the last week, with many of them attributed to a lack of oxygen and beds.
Central Vista Becomes "Essential Service"
The Central Vista project has been designated as an "essential service," and hence the redevelopment work continues there. According to a report, the Central Public Works Department wrote to the Delhi Police on April 16, stating that the project was of a time-bound nature and must be completed before November 30, 2021. The CPWD asked the police to let the company "ferry their employees to and from their work camp at Sarai Kale Khan using their own buses during the curfew time. When the capital was placed under a week-long lockdown on April 19, the deputy commissioner of police for the New Delhi district provided movement passes to 180 vehicles involved in project work, allowing them to function during the lockdown. The movement passes already been granted in the "essential services" category, according to the deputy commissioner's letter, reported Moneycontrol.
Criticism & Pressure Mounts On The Project
The CPWD recently issued a request for proposals for the construction of three buildings on the site of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts. In response, Congressman Rahul Gandhi challenged the government's decision to proceed with the central vista project despite the COVID-19 crisis. The project is facing criticism from its conception; the pandemic has crippled the health infrastructure, and as a consequence, people are critical of the resources diverted for a new government building while the health infrastructure is gasping for breath, with want of investments, expansion, recruitment and purchases.