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PM opens Central Vista office slams critics of Central Vista

New Delhi, Sep 16 (UNI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday slammed the critics of the Central Vista project as he inaugurated new office complexes for defence personnel, and said the work on the new Parliament building will be completed in time.
The ambitious Rs 20,000 crore Central Vista project – which includes building a new Parliament and central government offices- of not talking about the dilapidated state of offices like those which were relocated today.
At the event, where a website for the Central Vista was also launched, he said several defence officials were working from offices in hutments, adding that those who criticise the Central Vista project do not talk about this.
“In the 21st century, when we are modernising our forces, CDS (Chief of Defence Staff) is improving coordination of forces, procurements have been streamlined, how can the officials of the forces work from years old hutments,” the Prime Minister said.
The Prime Minister lamented the fact that for a very long time the defence related work was being conducted from hutments constructed during the second World War which were made keeping in mind horse stable and barracks needs.
“We all saw how some people tried to sabotage the important Central Vista project… how they ran personal agendas to spread misinformation. But not once did they speak about the condition of these hutments… from where our ministries work. Not once did they mention the new Defence Ministry complexes and how crucial they are,” the Prime Minister said.
“This new defence office complex will strengthen the efforts of making the working of our defence forces convenient and effective”, he said.
Several offices of defence personnel were being run from pre-Independence era hutments in the vicinity of North and South blocks in the national capital which were cleared for the Central Vista Project. The offices are being relocated to the complexes inaugurated on Thursday.
He also said defence forces that serve the nation were given priority. “When I got an opportunity to serve people in 2014, I felt the condition of government offices was not good, I could have done this as the first thing in 2014, but I did not do that. I first focused on the memorial for the martyrs,” he said.
The Central Vista Project has been criticized by Opposition leaders, as well as several experts of different accounts, including the massive cost at a time when the country is reeling under a pandemic. Questions have been raised on the need for the project, and also the environmental cost of it.
Reacting to the prime minister’s charge, Congress leader Ajay Maken said the party was not opposed to modernisation, but the urgency to carry it out in a pandemic.
“Wherever the defence offices were being run from, we should not forget we won several wars while operating from those offices,” Maken said.
“We are not against renovating the Central Vista, we are questioning the timing. Why can’t the project wait,” Maken said.
The Prime Minister meanwhile stressed on the role of modern infrastructure in the government’s focus on ease of living and ease of doing business.
“The ongoing construction work of Central Vista is going on with this thought only”, said the Prime Minister.
At the function, Urban Development Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said the central avenue of Central Vista will be completed within a couple of months, and Republic Day parade next year would be held on the new avenue.
He also said the building of the new Parliament will be ready before the Winter Session next year.
The event was also attended by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and CDS General Bipin Rawat.
The Central Vista Redevelopment Project refers to the ongoing redevelopment to revamp the Central Vista, India’s central administrative area located near Raisina Hill, New Delhi. Rashtrapati Bhavan, North and South blocks, and the Parliament building, along with scores of other government buildings, are a part of the area.

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