Long back to time, emperors considered the renovation of their empires to be of utmost priority, leaving behind the basic needs and wants of the common public. It quite resonates with the circumstances that present government has put before us. It is none other than the construction of the Central Vista Project.
Since the beginning of this year, millions of COVID-19 cases and thousands of deaths have grappled the whole nation. Hospitals have been running out of beds, medical oxygen has increasingly becoming unavailable, and other medical services are no more in abundance. Scientific experts and institutions have been cautioning India that worst is yet to come.
Still, there is one work going on in the midst of all this hustle and bustle. However, it is not the construction of hospitals or relating to the needs of public in anyway, but rather, it is the full swing construction of the Central Vista Project, which has been termed as “an essential service” in the country which has been hit the hardest by the pandemic. The work of the project has been proceeding apace so that it gets completed within the given schedule and Prime Minister can let his hair down with the luxuries.
All this while, the entire nation is neck deep in sickness and death, and is struggling to combat and curb the spread of the deadliest virus. So what exactly is the project that cannot be put to a halt even by the pandemic? Well, the Central Vista project is a redevelopment project which represents the power corridor of the government. It is being constructed on the stretch of the Rashtrapati Bhawan, and has four elements.
It will consist of new parliament building, and will demolish the traditional offices and edifices like the National Museum. There has also been talk of a town building, which will be the Prime Minister’s residence, and lastly, a seven-storey high government
office building along a 3 km long stretch over the Raj Path.
Ten petitions had been filed against this project, and the Supreme Court (SC) has earlier reserved all of them. The Centre rushed to complete the work and then the court slammed to put the work on halt for some time. Later on, the SC came up with a verdict decided in 2:1 ratio, terming the project an ‘essential service’ and setting the next hearing on 17th May.
Nonetheless, the Centre does not have to pay any importance to the verdict, instead focusing upon the completion of the project. Critics and medical institutions have been of the view that the whooping amount of INR 20,000 crores could have been utilized creating other amenities for the public. At least 15 All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) could have been constructed, and the medical oxygen and other supplies needed by the whole nation could have been met with this money.
In its defense, the Centre has said that INR 35,000 crores have been allocated for healthcare infrastructure, which however, is ironically invisible.
At the juncture, where every Indian is reeling under the onslaught of the pandemic battling it to save the life of their loved ones, Prime Minister is not even paying heed to the matter, and is busy chalking out the plans for his ease of living. Is this style turning into that of a dictator who does not care about the welfare of the people of his country?
Pyres are burning, smoke is billowing from chimneys, and people dying outside hospitals due to the laxity in healthcare infrastructure; however, it is not quite enough for the PM to rise up to the needs of the public. Many have asked if the project should be carried on or not. In response, the Centre said that it should have been completed under the UPA regime.
It does not matter to them, as they are still occupied with play the blame game, while common people are finding every passing day daunting to survive under the anxious cloud looming above their heads.