The Supreme Court yesterday allowed filing of a fresh plea challenging the June 17 environmental clearance (EC) granted to government’s ambitious Central Vista project, covering 3-km stretch from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate in Lutyens’ Delhi, for constructing a new Parliament House and other government buildings. SC has given senior advocate Shyam Divan, the petitioner, a week’s time to file petition and another week to the Central government to file its reply and posted the next hearing in the week commencing August 17.
Opposing the grant of the EC, Divan said a piecemeal approach was adopted and the entire central vista project was needed to be registered as a township project and then the EC should have been granted. Recently, the CPWD has supported the project and sought dismissal of the pleas challenging it.
Earlier, the apex court had said that any change at the ground level made by authorities for the Central Vista project will be “at their own risk”.
It had made it clear that the fate of the project, which includes several new government buildings and a new Parliament House, will depend on its decision.
The bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheswari and Sanjiv Khanna was hearing as many as seven pleas, including two transfer petitions from the Delhi High Court, on the issue and they have been filed by persons like activist Rajeev Suri and retired Lt Col. Anuj Srivastava against various permissions given to the project by the authorities including the nod to change the land use.
Gujarat-based architecture firm HCP Designs has won the consultancy bid for the Centre’s ambitious project to redevelop the Central Vista. The revamp, which was announced in September last year, envisages a new triangular Parliament building, with seating capacity for 900 to 1,200 MPs, that is targeted to be constructed by August, 2022 when the country will be celebrating its 75th Independence Day. The common Central Secretariat is likely to be built by 2024.