The Supreme Court on Monday stopped the construction work on the Central Vista Project which includes new Parliament building, but allowed the government to lay the foundation stone and do paper works on it.
The apex court’s Suo Moto interim order in this regard followed the sudden announcement of the government that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would be laying the foundation stone of the Rs 20,000 crore Central Vista Project on December 10.
Expressing its displeasure the Court said that no construction work can be initiated till further order nor can any structure be demolished and trees cut, but just gave green signal to the foundation laying ceremony of new Parliament building to take place on the said date.
It gave just five minutes time to Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to file the reply in this regard. The Solicitor General then assured the Court that no construction wok would start on December 10 and no building would be demolished nor any tree would be cut. After this clarification the SC only allows the foundation laying ceremony to be held on Dec 10.
It needs to be mentioned that the SC had on November 5 reserved its order on the petitions filed on the ground that the new structure would further cause environmental problem in Delhi and that there is no need for any such new building. The government had argued that the present Parliament House built in 1927 is not only old but is proving small and 51 ministers are working from different places. Apart from the main Parliament building several other government buildings housing various offices would be brought down.
The SC bench headed by Justice A M Khanwilkar said that reserving the decision on Nov 5 did not amount to giving a nod to the construction work for the new building.