Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Congress built sub-standard buildings: Puri on Central Vista criticism

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Responding to Congress’ criticism on the Central Vista project in Parliament on Wednesday, Union housing minister Hardeep Puri said the Congress built “substandard” buildings including Krishi Bhawan, Shastri Bhawan and Nirman Bhawan adding that they are not fit to be used.

“If buildings like Krishi Bhawan, Shastri Bhawan and Nirman Bhawan will have to come down, will you be sorry because you built those buildings and they were substandard buildings. They are not fit for offices,” Puri said during Question Hour in the Rajya Sabha.

The minister was responding in Rajya Sabha to questions raised by Congress MP Amee Yajnik over the number of buildings set to be demolished for the redevelopment of the Central Vista.

“We are now going to relocate you. Madam, we will relocate you to a new parliament building where you will have enough space,” he added.

Puri also said the Centre has not taken any decision on how the old Parliament building will be used.

“At this point of time, no comprehensive thought has been given to what precise use the old parliament building will be put to. Several suggestions keep coming, including that there should be an institute for democratic and parliament studies. These are merely suggestions. No decisions have been taken,” he said.

The plan, being handled by the Union ministry of housing and urban affairs, involves having a new Parliament building in place by India’s 75th Independence Day in 2022, while the entire project, which includes constructing 11 administrative buildings to house all the government ministries, is slated to be finished by 2024. Tata Projects Limited was tasked with the construction of the new Parliament complex on September 29, 2020.

Broadly, the plan also includes razing buildings such as Shastri Bhawan, Udyog Bhawan and Krishi Bhawan that house important government ministries to build a common secretariat for roughly 70,000 central government employees who are currently located across 30 buildings.

“We hope that the next Winter Session of Parliament will be held in the new parliament building in 2022 which also happens to be the 75th year of Independence,” Puri said.

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