A petition that claims the Central Vista Redevelopment Project will impact a “public recreational” zone was dismissed by the Supreme Court today as it stressed, “everything can be criticised but there should be constructive criticism.”
“It’s not (a) private property being created there. The Vice President’s residence is being created. There is bound to be greenery around. The plan has already been approved by authorities unless you are alleging malafide in that process,” Justice AM Khanwilkar said during the hearing in a series of tough remarks.
“Will we start asking the common man now where will the residence of the Vice President be?” he further asked
The project involves a do-over of a 3.2 km stretch in the heart of Delhi – designed by the British before Independence – at the cost of Rs 20,000 crore.
In his petition, social activist Rajeev Suri had said that land use in some areas was changed from “public recreational” to “residential” for the project. He argued that it would affect the area currently meant for public recreation.
Today, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the court the Centre is “increasing green area as part of the holistic development.”
It’s the prerogative of the authorities concerned to make changes in the development plan, the top court said in response to the plea, underling that it is “a policy matter.”
The government had urged the court to reject the “misconceived” petition.
The plot in question, the government said, had been used by Defence Ministry for years and the government on its own has decided to increase various public recreation areas in the master plan of Central Vista, for the larger benefit of the public.
The redevelopment project is expected to be completed next year, when India celebrates 75 years of Independence. Several government buildings, including the Parliament House and ministry offices, will be rebuilt as part of the project.