I am not a Modi Bhakt. In fact, I am a fierce and passionate critic of him who even holds him mainly But, facts and political positions must not be biased and based on which party you support. Unbiasedness is one thing missing in a lot many political commentators and observers. Things only rot and rust in darkness and lies. So in this article, I’ll be defending a much-criticized project dubbed “Modi Mahal” and “PM’s Lavish Vanity Project” by its opponents. The Central Vista Project redevelop the entire Power corridor in New Delhi from the Central Secretariat to the Parliament.
Modi has come under criticism for his Central Vista project.
The opposition parties have quite hypocritically railed against it. The liberal and woke circles have questioned the necessity to waste an estimated 20,000 crore on what they call a vanity project considering it to be for no useful purpose and only for show. Additionally, they have questioned its categorizing as “essential” in the midst of a pandemic. They have raised the issue as one where Modi is making his house and offices better when facing a pandemic destroying lives and livelihoods and asked for the money to be redirected towards pandemic response.
Here I’ll provide the rationale behind the project:
In 2026, there is a high possibility of there being an expansion of the number of MPs in the Lok Sabha from the current maximum of 552 to an estimated 800. This is due to a twice-delayed 25 years re-numbering of the Lok Sabha due to population changes. The Lok Sabha was supposed to expand in size every 10 years and reorganized as the Indian population grew to make sure that every MP represented the same amount of people. This though was delayed twice for 25 years amounting to a freeze of 50 years in expansion due to concerns over the process.
See, this expansion was supposed to happen by re-organizing seats given to each state based on their population, but, after we adopted a population control policy, it was argued that states which were successful in controlling population growth (mainly the south) would be penalized for their success, in comparison to unsuccessful states (mainly the North Hindi speaking states). So it was shelved twice. But after a gap of 50 years, this is not expected to happen again in 2026. One problem? The capacity of the present Lok Sabha is barely 552. And by barely, I mean super-duper barely.
It is conducted. (Like Mumbai public transit. The same pinch) It has a seating style of connected benches. the Lok Sabha does not even have benches beyond the first two rows, which puts it behind even school classrooms in the privileged parts of India. Forget any technology or such modern expectations for the highest law-making body of the largest democracy in the world. And this after, options like breaking down the back walls and expanding to a nearby corridor have already been explored and gone through with. The new plan is expected to have space for nearly 1300 members with modest upgrades in technology that may come in handy.
Example? Today all of us know about the teeny-weeny problem of our legislators acting like buffoons and shouting over, cutting in, or in general creating ruckus in the parliament. Well, the present parliament does not have the tech to block a member’s microphone. Hopefully, the new one will. Plus it is also supposed to be completely a digital parliament and help save trees. The spaces in the central hall, the lobby, and Rajya Sabha too is not enough. It is to be noted that these spaces are needed for lobbying and networking as well as for joint sessions.
The parliament building while looking great in pictures and from the outsides is nowhere as nice in the insides. It has antiqued and crumbling infrastructure. Drilling and other work for electrical lines, telephone lines, water, and sewage networks have all contributed to weakening infrastructure. The current parliament is also not earthquake-proof which the new one will be.
The Central Secretariat project in the CVP will involve building a connected secretariat situated together in the Central Vista Area. Currently, a part of ministerial buildings and offices are located outside which causes a waste of inter-ministerial time. But even more importantly, a lot of these outside offices are in rented spaces and we pay a bill of 1000 crore for them annually. The total cost of the CVP being 20,000 crores means that the project will pay for itself in 20 years and then actually save us money. This simple consideration is enough to validate the project.
Transit And Time
Another thing in the new central secretariat plan is the building of an underground system of transit to move around, connected to metro networks. No requirement for cars, as shuttles will be used to move around underground. This could save a lot of time and ease traffic in the area and beyond.
A last point of consideration is that under the project, public and tourist areas near the Central Vista Area will be expanded and developed. Public amenities will be added and infrastructure will be upgraded. The lawns and gardens will be improved and encroachment of governmental buildings in public spaces will end.
One thing to note here is that while the CVP might be the most massive one, it most definitely isn’t the only such project. The Maharashtra government has put in 900 crore plans for MLAs. Lawmakers have many times are laws to tighten their salaries and gifted themselves official bungalows and apartments. State assemblies have gone through redevelopment.
Now, this was the reason why the CVP is an important project. But is it essential during the pandemic as the government has categorized it? Arguably, yes. There could be any reasons for this and here I speculate:
So in conclusion I would like to reaffirm to everyone reading this, if you’re into politics and social issues, practice actively unbiasedness and critical thinking. Because the Central Vista Project is anything but useless.
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