Let’s not politicise the Central Vista project

SourceThe Indian Express

Relevance: Central Vista project is an important topic under Infrastructure.

Synopsis: People are also questioning the purpose and benefits of the Central Vista Project. But The questions are short-sighted.

About the Central Vista Redevelopment Project:

The initiative to build a new Parliament building was taken by the then Lok Sabha in 2012. Under the Central Vista project, the offices of the vice-president, the prime minister and the 51 ministries will be housed under one roof. MPs will have offices.

For more info on central vistaCentral Vista project

Challenges with the present Parliament Building:
  • Many of the present Parliament buildings are dilapidated and difficult to work in. Rashtrapati Bhavan, Parliament House, North Block, and South Block, and the National Museum building were built in 1931. After that, Nirman Bhawan, Shastri Bhawan, Udyog Bhawan, Rail Bhawan and Krishi Bhawan were constructed between 1956 and 1968.
  • The legislature sits in the Parliament House whereas the president, vice-president, prime minister, and the officials of 51 ministries sit in different places. Today, 39 ministries are housed in different buildings in the Central Vista area, while 12 ministries are occupying rented premises outside.
    • The annual rent for these buildings is about Rs 1,000 crore, and they are located far from the PMO and other ministries. Obviously, the administrative work gets hampered.
  • When the buildings were built in Central Vista and its surrounding areas, there was no digitalisation, unlike today. Now, along with the security of Parliament House and the ministries, the protection of digital files also matters. Building a new complex will ensure better security for both.
Need for Central Vista Project:
  • India is a rising power in the world today. Our priorities are changing, so it is very important that the entire central government should be accommodated in a cluster of buildings equipped with modern technology, so that ministers can easily reach out to each other, meet and interact.
  • India’s population is growing, so the number of MPs will have to be increased too in the future. So, to accommodate the large number of MPs in the future, the new project is essential.
  • The office of our Prime Minister should also be state-of-the-art, equipped, and secure like the parliamentary and presidential buildings of the USA, Russia, Britain, and other developed countries.
Major criticism and its counter:

Many people are of the view that Rs 20,000 crore of the Central Vista project should be spent on helping the poor and providing healthcare facilities during the pandemic. But this is wrong for two reasons.

  1. The government is not diverting any funds allotted for welfare schemes. Also, the government is not rolling back any welfare scheme meant for the poor to implement the project.
  2. The Central Vista Project is a plan for the future. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and all other Indian leaders have planned for the future and that is why India occupies its current prime position. The Central Vista project is one such project that aims to fulfill India’s present and future needs of the Indian Parliament.
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