Petition Filed To Pause Central Vista Plan
The Supreme Court on 5th May agreed to hear a petition to stay the construction work of the Central government’s Central Vista project amid the surge in Covid-19 cases.
The petition moved by Anya Malhotra and Sohail Hashmi asked the Supreme Court to suspend all construction activity of the Central Vista Avenue Redevelopment Project in compliance with orders issued by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority during the subsistence of the peak phase of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
The Supreme Court will decide the date of hearing a petition. The opposition and activists have been hitting out hard at the government for persisting with this project despite the pandemic. Senior advocate Sidharth Luthra, who represents two petitioners, had requested the Chief Justice of India to take up the plea after the Delhi High Court deferred the hearing of the request till May 17.
The Apex Court also asked the petitioner’s lawyer to first circulate the case details to parties and file for hearing before it the appeal filed against yesterday’s Delhi High Court order over plea to stay work of Central Vista project in Central Vista project
Earlier, the Delhi High Court said it will hear on May 17 in detail the plea seeking direction to halt/suspend all construction activity of the Central Vista Avenue Redevelopment Project in compliance with orders issued by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority during the subsistence of the peak phase of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
A bench of Justice DN Patel and Justice Jasmeet Singh adjourned the matter on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma, appearing for the Union of India, opposed the plea and said the petition is of doubtful credentials.
Petitioners have stated that the petition is challenging Ministry of Housing and Urban Development and CPWD’s relentless, unmindful and reckless act of carrying on this project in a manner that poses a threat to the lives of the citizens of Delhi and beyond, including the lives of the workforce/labour engaged in the project, as it has the potential of being a super spreader, and is in clear breach and violation of the Orders passed by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority.
The plea stated that at a time when Delhi is grappling with a devastating coronavirus outbreak and when all efforts, particularly and more so by the state and its agencies, have to be towards controlling the spiralling situation, the impugned acts of the respondents will nullify and negate all those efforts. The plea also states that the petitioners are also questioning why or how the project constitutes an “essential service”, merely because some executive mandated contractual deadline has to be met.