Central Vista Redevelopment Project
Development is a very crucial aspect of every nation’s growth and prosperity. A developed country will provide its citizens a quality of life that India has not experienced so far. The current situation highlights how mismanaged and poor the country is in terms of healthcare and resources. I remember, getting a message on Instagram by a follower, it
said, “Why do you always highlight negativity, there are some positive traits we have as a country”. I took a pause, went through my last three articles, I realized, this person has a point. But, is the reality always negative? Can we really ignore the number of people dying on daily basis just to sound or create a positive impression? I don’t want the readers to feel saturated at all, its ok if you take a break, stay away from your devices, and don’t read the news and articles that tend to be disturbing. We are the youth, some of us may cast our first vote next time, so simple words, choose wisely. The Central Vista Project is one was the most talked about topics currently. The project aims to revamp the capital, or in Gen Z terms, giving a glow up to the capital. I am not against infrastructural development, in fact, it’s a crucial part of a nation’s development, but what’s a nation without its people? Building a monument as the funeral pyres burn endlessly is not the hallmark of a nation that cares for its citizens. Most of us will be vehemently opposed to any cosmetic upgrades that are done ignoring the pressing needs of people in trouble. It’s highly insensitive to carry out such projects in the times when the common man is struggling to get basic necessities and treatment, a time where a number of people are losing their jobs and many businesses are suffering. Domestic violence is increasing, a number of women are being beaten up and tortured by their husbands and in-laws, the number of reports received by the National Commission for Women rose sharply from 2960 in 2019 to 5297 in 2020 Mental health issues have increased, uncertainty, fear, depression, burnouts, haunt each one of us. There is a shortage of oxygen, and people come up with solutions like “Plant more trees”! The solution is needed, but not the right way to deal with the current catastrophe.
The grand redevelopment project will have a new Parliament building. The new building design is described as the pivot of the Central Vista Project design. The seating capacity of the Rajya Sabha, as well as the Lok Sabha chamber, is increased. The new Parliament building aims to create a paperless office, and I honestly appreciate this idea. This will be achieved by equipping the whole complex with the latest digital interfaces. The Prime Ministers’ house will be shifted near the South Block and The President’s house near the North Block. These blocks are named for their locations, as North and South of Rashtrapati Bhavan. The total estimated project cost is Rs 13,450 crore. The Capital city was in lockdown for days. Hospitals are running out of beds and facing an acute shortage of oxygen. However, this devastation left the Central Vista Project unaffected. This project was criticized back in 2019 when the announcement was made. It’s clearly evident that this year, the chorus of criticism against the ongoing Central Vista Project has increased.
The cost of building 162 oxygen generation plants is Rs 201 crore, which is nowhere around the budget of the redevelopment project (Rs 13,450 crore). Many including Rahul Gandhi and Srinivas B V are criticizing this redevelopment decision but seems like the Centre is too possessive about this redevelopment. This project has been declared as an “essential service” and that’s why it is important to continue the construction work, ignoring the lockdown guidelines. However, Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri emphasized the importance of this project (September 22, 2020), especially in times where unemployment is hitting people hard. He said that the project will generate a large number of direct and indirect employments. This will boost the economy and solve the problem of unemployment for some. But currently, the first and the most important aim should be to save the lives of the people. The employment and economy will only be benefited if the human resource is healthy and capable of working. Talking about human resources, a report by Scroll talks about the condition of the workers working at the Central Vista Project. Some workers say that they have not been paid wages. Vijay Kumar was
promised a wage of Rs 500 on a daily basis when he started working, but he was given a weekly payment of Rs 1000. A worker from Jaunpur says that the work at Central Vista will not stop. He also said that he has no problem going back to his village, but if anything happens to him, his family won’t be able to come here. The Central Vista Project could have been more relevant if a decision was made to postpone, as the current situation is life-threatening and devastating. The rage is not against the project that gives a new and modern look to the capital; in fact, the architecture is really fascinating and beautifully planned. Who knows, if this can be a beautiful tourist attraction? But the only problem is the ignorance and the laxity by the people in power, a general reminder, Democracy is for the people, by the people, and of the people.
Article By : Anshika Barai