[Editorial Analysis] Beyond the Central Vista verdict, key questions?

Mains Paper 2: Governance
Prelims level: Central Vista Project
Mains level: Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions

Context:

• The Supreme Court of India has cleared the decks for the intensely contested new Parliament and Central Vista projects in New Delhi. Limiting itself strictly to ‘the procedures sanctioned by law’, pronounced the 2-1 judgment.

• The critical questions on ensuring public commitment in civic projects, improving participatory processes in city-building and effective procurement of professional services remain unanswered.

• Judicial reviews are hesitant to direct changes to the mandated regulations, enduring solutions have to be found by improving them through political persuasion and public pressure.

What is the Central Vista Project/case?

• The Central government wants to redevelop the Central Vista, the 3-km long stretch from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate.

• The plan is to construct a new Parliament building by March 2022 and a common central secretariat by March 2024.

• These will be built along with new residences for the Prime Minister and the Vice President near South and North Blocks, which will be repurposed as museums.

• In April 2020, a petition was filed in the Supreme Court by Rajeev Suri. The petition stated that the order violated the citizen’s Right to Life guaranteed under Article 21 by depriving people of open and green spaces. The petition further argued that the Prime Minister’s dream project violated the Master Plan of Delhi 2021.

Other opposition:

• The Opposition, environmentalists, architects and citizens have raised many concerns even before the pandemic brought in extra issues.

• They have questioned the lack of studies to ascertain the need for the project and its impact on the environment, traffic and pollution.

• This led to allegations of a lack of transparency.

• There were enough reasons to be circumspect about this grand idea from the very beginning.

• In the situation created by the pandemic, it must be deferred and the idea revisited later.

Way forward:

• The new parliament building will have a life of more than 150 years with more than 150% increase in seating capacity.

• Parliament session in the new building: In the 75th year of independence (2022), Parliament session will be held in the new building. As many as 1,224 MPs can sit together in the new building.

• Indigenous Architecture the new Parliament will have four floors basements, ground, first and second. It will integrate the indigenous architecture and the height will be same as the new building

• Aatmanirbhar Bharat as quoted by ANI, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla stated that the new Parliament building will be one such temple of Aatmanirbhar Bharat, reflecting the diversity of India.

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Prelims Questions:

Q.1) With reference to the Chandrayaan-2, consider the following statements:

1. The Orbiter, which was injected into a lunar orbit on September 2, 2019, carried eight experiments/payloads, all of which have been performing well and sending data received.

2. The Indian Space Science Data Center (ISSDC) is the nodal center of planetary data archive for planetary missions of ISRO.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: C

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