Does India need a ‘Central Vista Project’ in this pandemic?

Should Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Central Vista Project’ be stopped?

This is a big question on everyone’s mind and people want an answer.

Image source: Modi – Twitter.

The new Parliament of India and the Prime Minister’s House is not ‘Modi’s palace’. However, vested interests are busy promoting this idea.

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I believe that this is the biggest lie being spread in India at this moment.

Image Source: Rashtrapati Bhavan – Wikipedia.

PMO India and the Vice President’s residence will be built along with Rashtrapati Bhavan to do administrative tasks better.

Employees of the Central Secretariat will get an office with modern facilities. Right now, the PMO staff sits at the outskirts of Delhi.

Under the new plan, all central government offices will come together and about Rs 1000 crore of rent can also be saved by the nation every year.

Image source: Parliament of India – Wikipedia.

The Parliament of India is almost 100 years old. And a proposal to create the new parliament building came during the Congress rule itself. Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar (Congress Party) and Sumitra Mahajan (BJP) both took it forward.

Right now, the goal is to prepare Parliament by the time the independence completes 75 years.

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As per the plan, an area of more than 3 kilometres from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate will be developed along with the Parliament House with modern facilities, offices and other buildings will also be built.

It has been ensured that the open and green space is not reduced at any cost.

The open space that the people of Delhi enjoy will be snuffed out is a rumour spread on the same lines when the National War Memorial was built along India Gate.

Image source: National War Memorial – Wikipedia.

Today, visitors to India Gate feel proud.

The work of the National War Memorial was completed in record time. With the goal of completing the Parliament House and the entire Central Vista project on schedule, the Narendra Modi government has started work from January.

Before the commencement of work, the decision in the court on everything from the environment to open space has come in favour of the project.

The construction of the Parliament House is being done by the company part of the prestigious Tata group of India.

This company bid to build the Parliament House in an open tender process by quoting less than Larsen & Toubro (L&T). The estimated cost of the entire Central Vista project is Rs 20,000 crore.

Will it cost the tax payers any extra?

There is already a provision in the budget for the Central Vista project. Those who want to stop Central Vista are saying that it is not right to spend Rs 20,000 crore on this project during this pandemic.

It is important to note here that in the current budget of the Government of India, a provision of Rs 5.54 lakh crore has been made for capital expenditure.

Capital expenditure in the previous year was Rs 4.39 lakh crore. It is very important to understand the capital expenditure in the discussion of stopping the Central Vista Project during the time of pandemic.

Capital expenditure means when the government invests in construction works such as hospitals, railways, bridges, roads, schools, dams, airports, ports. Understand this in simple terms that a government calls investment as capital expenditure in preparing the basic infrastructure.

Image source: Mumbai-Delhi Expressway – Wikipedia.

Bharatmala, Sagarmala, Water Transport, National Highway, Mumbai-Delhi Expressway and many such projects are being completed in the time of pandemic.

At the same time, a maximum number of houses should be constructed under PM Urban/Rural Housing Scheme.

In the housing scheme, those working in it are the people who are being suggested to give some money.

Image source: Chenab Bridge – Wikipedia.

The Chenab Bridge connecting Kashmir to the rest of India is progressing rapidly.

Government spending and especially the expenditure incurred in infrastructure can be helpful in improving the economic condition of the country.

According to the World Economic Forum’s ‘Why infrastructure is the only way to fight a COVID-19 recession in the US report’ says, the US should invest heavily in infrastructure especially roads and bridges to save the country from recession.

In 2020-21, even a small country like Fiji is going ahead with its plan of constructing a FJ$7 million office for the Prime Minister.

Fiji government’s expression of interest states:

“The beneficiaries of the project are first and foremost the people of Fiji and secondly the staff in terms of better working environment and conditions.”

Similarly, the biggest beneficiary of the new Central Vista Project are the people of India not Narendra Modi.

The Parliament and Central Vista project are being completed in record time with the support of the Indian companies, machinery, and labourers.

Maybe this is the reason why those who want to weaken India’s confidence by telling miraculous stories of China want to stop the Central Vista project.

Image source: Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel – Wikipedia.

Perhaps, that is why Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has tried to put indirect pressure on PM Narendra Modi.

It is alleged that CM Baghel has stopped the construction work in Chhattisgarh under pressure from party supremo Sonia and Rahul Gandhi.

It would have been better if CM Bhupesh had focussed on completing the projects in the state. An additional and long-term benefit is preparing the state’s readiness to fight the present and future pandemic like situations.

CM Baghel and Modi’s opponents believe that the money saved by stopping infrastructure projects should be used to buy oxygen, medicine, and improve health facilities.

However, the money for health comes from a separate budget and the Government of India is fighting the virus that has devastated and overwhelmed the whole world.

I agree that health facilities should be a priority but stopping all other infrastructure work that is inherently integrated with it will definitely stop the progress of India.

HarshVardhan Tripathi is a senior Indian journalist and Political Analyst with over 20 years of experience. He regularly appears on News Channel debates on CNBC Awaaz, TV9-Bharatvarsh, India-TV, Lok-Sabha TV, Times-Now, among others.
Writes articles for Newspapers such as Dainik Jagran, the largest Hindi Newspaper of India. Known for speaking with Logical reasoning, he is one of the rare Indian Journalists who holds good command on both Politics and Economics.
YouTube Channel: Harshvardhan Tripathi
Twitter: MediaHarshVT