The government on Tuesday, November 3, told the Supreme Court that the Central Vista project, covering the three-km stretch from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate in Delhi, also known as the nation's power corridor, would "save money" which is paid as rent for housing Central government ministries in the national capital.
The centre also said that the decision to build a new parliament building has not been taken in haste and there has been no violation of law in any manner for the project. The government also said that the new parliament building is required as many residents have raised concerns regarding the inadequacies in the existing one.
The government also claims that the building is already 93 years old and its facilities and amenities are "highly inadequate".
Solicitor general Tushar Mehta told the SC bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar that "having all the ministries at one place would increase the efficiency and ensure better coordination between them."
The restructuring includes a new triangular parliament building, with seating capacity for around 1,200 MPs, that is expected to be completed by August 2022.
Mehta said that the "structure of existing parliament building is not earthquake-proof and the new parliament building would supplement the existing one."
"Even after 73 years of independence, the nation does not have a central secretariat. Various ministries have hired premises on rent. Thousands of crores in rent is paid for housing central government ministries. This project saves money," the solicitor general said.
In September, Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri said that the Central Vista redevelopment project would generate large-scale direct and indirect employment which could become an "important fulcrum of economic revival". Puri said that the estimated cost for construction of new Parliament building is ₹971 crore.
He also said that the Central Vista is one of the most visited tourist places in Delhi and is used for the Republic Day Parade and various other functions which showcase the national capital to the world.