February 9, 2020
The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:
Transparency with Public Engagement on the Central Vista Reconstruction
The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) calls upon the BJP government to lift the veil from the proposed project of redevelopment of the Central Vista in Delhi. Apart from the citizens, it is the Parliament that will get most affected. It is therefore imperative that the Government must discuss the details of the project in the current ongoing budget session of the Parliament. Such a historical and important proposal should not be rushed through.
The government must know that the land in consideration for the Central Vista belongs to the people, and the government is just the custodian. The Supreme Court has already laid it down in the 2G spectrum allocation case, the precise definition of natural resources and the limits to the manner of government intervention. The government therefore cannot unilaterally decide on the project.
The Delhi Development Authority had conducted a two days public hearing on February 6 and 7, 2020, where a large number of urban planners, environmentalists and other sections of the society participated. There is a general and genuine concern of the citizens that the Central Vista project has been designed in an ambiguous and hidden manner. Therefore it is the responsibility of the Government to provide certain facts to the Parliament and the public before going any further with the project. These responsibilities include, amongst other issues, providing the following information to Parliament and to place these in the public domain:
- List of all buildings intended to be demolished in Central Delhi and in the vicinity of the Central Vista.
- List of new buildings to be built in Central Delhi and in the Vicinity of the Central Vista.
- Total cost of the entire project and its year-wise outlay.
- Duration of time over which it is intended to reconstruct the Central Vista.
- List of changes proposed to the Master Plan for the reconstruction of the Central Vista.
- Total area of land in acres that will be affected by the proposal.
- Whether Environment Impact Assessement study has been carried out for the proposed project by an independent authority.
The re-development proposed for the construction of the Central Vista cannot violate the existing master plan of Delhi without completing due processes provided by law. There is no information in the public domain about how the construction of the Central Vista will impact the heritage area of Delhi.
The CPI(M) demands that the government put the project on hold and first discuss it in the Parliament as it concerns the reconstruction, redevelopment and expansion of the Parliament building which is unique to Delhi, country’s capital.