New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Delhi High Court on Monday dismissed plea that sought directions to the Centre to stop the Central Vista project in Delhi in wake of the COVID-19 crisis in the country. A two-judge bench of the Delhi High Court that included Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh called the Central Vista project "essential" and imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh on the petitioners for their "motivated" plea.

"They have to complete the construction before November 2021. Time is of essence. Once workers are staying at site and all facilities are provided and COVID 19 behaviour are adhered to, no reason to stop the project. This is not e genuine PIL," the court said, as reported by Bar and Bench.

The petition, filed by Anya Malhotra and Sohail Hashmi, had sought the pause of the Central Vista project, saying it could become a "super spreader" of the deadly COVID-19 infection in the national capital. The two contended that the project "was not an essential activity and can be put on hold for time being".

However, the Centre opposed the plea and claimed that it is limited to the redevelopment of Central Vista Avenue or Rajpath. It also said that the plea is "sheer abuse of the process of law".

"This is very important public space and most widely visited by common public and tourists in Delhi," the told the Delhi High Court earlier.

The Central Vista project entails construction activities on Rajpath and the surrounding lawns from the India Gate to the Rashtrapati Bhawan, according to the petition, filed through advocates Gautam Khazanchi and Pradyuman Kaistha.

The project envisages building a new Parliament House, a new residential complex to house offices and the prime minister and the vice president. It will also have new office buildings and a Central Secretariat to accommodate various ministries 'offices.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma