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PM of India pushes ahead with $ 1.8 bn parliament renovation even as country collapses due to second wave of COVID-19

When the country struggles with the worst public health crisis of all time, the Prime Minister of India is busy completing the construction of the Parliament House, which he described as “one of the most important milestones” in the democratic tradition.

At a time when the people of India are struggling to save their lives and thousands are dying, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is moving ahead with $ 1.8 billion in parliamentary reforms and his housing construction.

The Central Government’s decision to continue the renovation project, known as the Central Vista Redevelopment Project, has enraged the public and opposition parties. The project in New Delhi, the capital city, is underway at a time when most other construction projects have been halted.

Super-spreader event

Two citizens of the capital city recently filed a case in the Delhi High Court to halt construction. Petitioners argue that the construction of Parliament buildings is not an essential service and that it could even become a COVID-19 super-spreader event.

But the High Court had said that the cases would be heard later this month. The petitioners felt that the High Court had failed to understand the gravity of the situation, so they took the case to the Supreme Court.

PM about the parliamentary revamp

“The launch of the construction of the Parliament House of India, with the idea of Indianness by Indians, is one of the most important milestones of our democratic traditions,” PM Modi said in December at the laying of the building’s foundation stone.

The $1.8 billion project was approved earlier this year by an expert panel of the Environment Ministry. It is estimated that more than 40,000 people will be temporarily employed during construction.

The renovation of the parliament building will be completed in November 2022, while the Prime Minister’s residence is expected to be completed in December 2022.

Opposition slams Central Vista project

The Central Vista Redevelopment Project has been slammed by opposition politicians as a vanity project. Many leaders and members of the public have expressed dissatisfaction with the government’s move through social media platforms.

Opposition MP Rahul Gandhi, tweeted: “Central Vista – not essential. Central (Government) with a vision – essential.”

Community Party of India’s Sitaram Yechury described the move as “grotesque.”

“People are dying of COVID but (Prime Minister Modi’s) priority is the Central Vista project,” tweeted Yashwant Sinha, the former minister of finance and external affairs. “Should we not be building hospitals instead? How much more price the nation must pay for electing a meglomaniac?,”he added. 

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