Suspend Central Vista project, demands CPI leader

Binoy Viswam renews plea to PM

In his second letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Rajya Sabha member and Communist Party of India leader Binoy Viswam has renewed his demand for suspending the project to redevelop the Central Vista. His point is that the project serves a very limited purpose when the country is going through a crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and its catastrophic impact on the economy.

Mr. Viswam said that with the number of infections crossing the 4.5-lakh mark and the number of deaths nearing 15,000, the pandemic was showing no sign of ending any time soon. The economy had been pushed off the brink, he said. He said it was essential that the government focus its energy and resources on meeting the fundamental needs of the people. “I urge you to suspend a project that has been allocated large funding but serves a very limited purpose — the redevelopment of the Central Vista in New Delhi,” he wrote. The Centre has allocated ₹20,000 crore for the project, which includes a new building for Parliament.

Given the larger issues that plagued the nation now, “...ranging from mass unemployment, a crippling economy, social disharmony, environmental decay and a health pandemic that threatens our very existence”, the project must be at the bottom of the list of priorities for the government, he wrote.

Mr. Viswam said the project lacked social and historical context. “There have been no public consultations on this process, no environmental or social impact studies, no expert opinions of historians, urban planners, architects, sociologists and other professionals. Instead, the entire process has been hidden in a veil of secrecy and opaqueness.” It would be deeply problematic to continue with the project, he said.

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Printable version | Jul 12, 2020 1:36:40 PM |

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