In 2:1 verdict, SC gives nod to Central Vista revamp plan but with riders, says Centre has proper paperwork
New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Supreme Court on Tuesday gave the Centre its go ahead to the redevelopment plan of the ambitious Central Vista project, saying that the government had all the required premissions.
The top court said that excercise of the power under DDA Act is just and valid. The recommendations of environmental clearance by Ministry of Environment is just, valid and proper and we uphold the same, it added.
A bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and Sanjiv Khanna said that Heritage Conservation Committee approval was needed for construction work to begin. It directed project proponents to get approval from the Committee.
It, however, directed the project proponent of Central Vista project to install smog tower and use anti-smog guns at all construction sites.
Justice Sanjiv Khanna differed with the majority view on grant of environmental clearance and change in land use for Central Vista Project.
The Supreme Court was hearing a batch of petitions which have questioned several aspects including the environmental clearance granted to ambitious Central vista project. The bench had reserved its verdict on November 5 last year.
The Central Vista revamp, announced in September, 2019 envisages a new triangular Parliament building, with seating capacity for 900 to 1,200 MPs, that is 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 under the project against which various pleas have been filed.
On December 7, last year the top court had allowed the Centre to proceed with the foundation stone-laying ceremony for the Central Vista project on December 10 after the government assured it that no construction or demolition work would commence till the apex court decides the pending pleas on the issue.
Centre had told the bench that there would be only foundation stone-laying ceremony, and no construction, demolition or felling of trees would be done for the project as of now.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had laid the foundation stone on December 10, last year, for the new Parliament building and the construction is expected to be completed by 2022 at an estimated cost of Rs 971 crore, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla had said on December 5, last year.
The apex court had earlier 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.
Gujarat-based architecture firm HCP Designs has won the consultancy bid for the project to redevelop the Central Vista.
The top court was hearing several pleas on the issue, including the one filed by activist Rajeev Suri, against various permissions given to the project by authorities including the nod to change of land use.
The pleas have also challenged the grant of a no-objection certificate by the Central Vista Committee (CVC) and also the environmental clearances for the construction of a new parliament house building.
One of the pleas was filed against a Delhi High Court order which had said the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) was not required to apprise it before notifying changes in the Master Plan to allow the Central Vista project.
The division bench of the Delhi High Court had on February 28 stayed an order of its single judge bench which had asked the DDA to approach the court before notifying any change in the Master Plan for going forth with the Centre's ambitious project to redevelop the Central Vista.
The stay order of the high court on the single judge bench's February 11 direction had come on the intra-court appeal of the DDA and the Centre.
The petitioners before the high court had opposed the Central Vista project on the ground that it involves a change in land use of the green area adjoining Rajpath and Vijay Chowk for building new Parliament and government offices.
(With PTI inputs)
Posted By: Abhinav Gupta