PIL against Central Vista construction another attempt to stall project, Centre alleges - SARKARI JOB INDIAN

PIL against Central Vista construction another attempt to stall project, Centre alleges

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New Delhi: The Centre has told the Delhi High Court on Tuesday (May 11) that the PIL seeking stay on the construction of Central Vista amid the raging COVID pandemic was just another attempt to stall the project which has been facing such attempts from the beginning on one pretext or another.

The “intentions and motive” behind filing of the plea are evident from the fact that the instant project has been singled out by the petitioners despite several other agencies, including Delhi Metro, carrying out construction activities across the national capital, the Centre has alleged.

“The very fact that out of all these construction activities going on simultaneously for different projects by different agencies, the petitioner has chosen to be a public spirited citizen only with regard to one project only speaks volumes about his intentions and motive behind filing the present petition,” the Centre’s affidavit has contended, as reported by news agency PTI.

Since the affidavit submitted is not yet on record, a bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jasmeet Singh listed the matter for hearing on May 12.

The court also allowed the early hearing application moved by the petitioners. Anya Malhotra, who works as a translator, and Sohail Hashmi, a historian and documentary filmmaker, who have contended that the project was not an essential activity and therefore, it can be put on hold for now during the pandemic.

In the affidavit filed in the court on May 10, the central government has said that the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) has permitted construction activities, during the prevailing curfew, where the labourers are residing on-site.

It has said the workers were engaged well before the imposition of curfew on April 19.

“It is submitted that in the meantime, a COVID compliant facility was installed at the worksite itself, to accommodate the 250 workers who had expressed their willingness to stay put and continue the aforesaid work.

“It is false to suggest that any workers are brought from Sarai Kale Khan camp to the working site on a daily basis or otherwise and consequently, the entire substratum of the case of the petitioners is erroneous and based on falsehood,” the government has said.

The high court on May 4 had adjourned the matter to May 17 saying it first wants to study the apex court’s January 5 judgement giving a go ahead to the Central Vista project.

Their plea has also contended that the continuation of the project was a matter of concern in view of the ‘crumbling’ healthcare system and the lives at stake of the workers employed at the construction site.

The project envisages constructing a new Parliament House, a new residential complex that will house the Prime Minister and the Vice-President, as well as several new office buildings and a Central Secretariat to accommodate Ministry offices.

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