The Centre on Tuesday told the Supreme Court that the Central Vista project, covering three-km stretch from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate in Lutyens’ Delhi, would “save money” which is paid as rent for housing Central government ministries in the national capital.
It submitted that the decision to have a new parliament building has not been taken in a haste and no law or norms have been violated in any manner for the project.
The Centre said new parliament building is needed as numerous occupants have indicated the inadequacies in the existing one.
Opposing the petitions which have raised questions over several aspects including the environmental clearance (EC) granted to the project, solicitor general Tushar Mehta told a bench headed by Justice A M Khanwilkar that having all the ministries at one place would increase the efficiency and ensure better coordination between them.
The law officer submitted before the bench, also comprising Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and Sanjiv Khanna, that the structure of existing parliament building is not earthquake proof and the new parliament building would supplement the existing one.
“Even after 73 year of independence, the nation does not have a central secretariat. Various ministries have hired premises on rent. Thousands of crores in rent is paid for housing central government ministries. This project saves money,” the solicitor general said.
The revamp, which was announced in September last year, envisages a new triangular parliament building, with seating capacity for 900 to 1,200 MPs, that is expected to be constructed by August, 2022, when the country will celebrate its 75th Independence Day.