NEW DELHI: The Central Vista project being built under the Narendra Modi government could have easily funded 40 large, fully-equipped hospitals, a report published in the UK-based Daily Mail said.
The scathing report questioned the timing of the “garish new parliament resembling a triangular wedding cake” as thousands of people, within a few kilometres of the project, scramble for bare essential health services to fight off the catastrophic second wave of coronavirus.
“The vainglorious man who now presides over the world’s biggest democracy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is determined to expunge this symbol of despised colonial rule, and build its replacement far more quickly,” David Jones said in his report.
The new building will be inaugurated in August 2022 when the country celebrates its 75th Independence Day and would include futuristic offices, an underground railway and an opulent mansion for the PM.
“The revamped Central Vista will become a symbol of Modi’s much-vaunted ‘New India’,” the article added.
The work on the project continues even as demands for it to be halted become more strident, especially in the wake of the ongoing second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, it said.
“Ludicrously, having all-too belatedly placed the rest of Delhi in lockdown, he has even decreed that erecting this monument to his colossal ego must be classed as an ‘essential service’,” the article said, further attacking Prime Minister’s decision to not stall the project even as Covid storms the country.
Nearly 2,000 migrant workers are bussed each day to work on the construction site as residents of Delhi struggle to arrange oxygen and hospital beds for their loved ones. The migrant workers, according to the article, toil in a chaotic-looking crater as people are cremated in makeshift funeral pyres in car parks and bodies lie in the potholed streets.
The project, the report claims, will cost the country an “eye-watering” $2.82 billion. The report quoted Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien who said that the country could have vaccinated nearly 80% of the population with the same amount of money.
The report also raised a question as to why PM Modi, despite his popular mandate, is risking his reputation and his position as a leader by continuing with this grandiose scheme.
Views expressed above are the author’s own.
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