Updated: September 17, 2021 1:28:16 am
INAUGURATING TWO defence office complexes in New Delhi on Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a swipe at critics of the Central Vista Redevelopment Project, saying they stayed silent on the complexes — built to accommodate 7,000 officers and staff of the Defence Ministry and the armed forces — because it would have “exposed” their “myths and lies”.
“People who were attacking the Central Vista project very cleverly and shrewdly wouldn’t say that this too is part of the Central Vista Project, that a facility for more than 7,000 officers of the military was coming up, because they knew that once this becomes public, their plan to spread myths and lies would be exposed,” PM Modi said.
The two complexes, on Kasturba Gandhi Marg and Africa Avenue in the Capital, have been built at a cost of Rs 775 crore and will have a combined office space of 9.6 lakh sqft.
Calling the complexes a “major and significant step towards the development of a modern defence enclave in the Capital”, the PM said, “Today the country is watching what we are doing with Central Vista. These modern offices will help those involved in the work of national security work more effectively.”
Inaugurating Defence Offices Complexes in New Delhi. https://t.co/4n202IC2ei
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 16, 2021
The Opposition, including the Congress, has been attacking the government over the Central Vista project, calling it a “criminal wastage” of resources and had urged the government to divert money to battling the Covid pandemic.
In June, the Supreme Court had refused to interfere with a Delhi High Court order that dismissed a petition seeking a stay on the Central Vista Project construction in the midst of the pandemic. Holding the Central Vista Project to be of “national importance”, the High Court had called the plea “motivated”.
The Prime Minister also launched a new website for the Central Vista project. The website, Centralvista.gov.in, has details of the projects that are part of the redevelopment, besides a dashboard for “jobs generated”, active and upcoming projects and a section about “myths and realities”. It also has information about the new Parliament building under construction, the Central Vista Avenue, the Common Central Secretariat, the National Museum, National Archives and the IGNCA.
During his speech at the inauguration of the defence complexes, the PM invoked security forces and said that when he first came to power in 2014, he decided to make the National War Memorial for “those brave soldiers who protect the dignity and pride of the country, who live and struggle for the country, those who martyred for the nation”, adding that what should have had been done immediately after Independence was started only after 2014.
“After we completed work on the memorial, we started with the Central Vista project to improve the offices. We first remembered our brave soldiers and martyrs,” he said.
On the idea behind the project, the PM said that “a capital is not just a city, but is a symbol of the country’s ideas, promises, capability and culture. India is the mother of democracy, which is why India’s capital should be such that people should be at its centre. Today when we focus on ease of living and ease of doing business, the role of modern infrastructure has an equally important role”.
Saying most of the construction work in the Capital has been completed ahead of deadline, he said, “I am sure the new Parliament building will be completed within the stipulated time.”
Calling the new defence complexes “a reflection of another change in the work culture and priorities of the government — the correct use of available land”, he said the buildings will strengthen “our efforts to make the work of our militaries more convenient and more efficient”.
The complex on K G Marg will have three blocks, housing 14 offices across a space of 4.52 lakh sqft. The complex on Africa Avenue, with a total space of 5.08 lakh sqft, will get 13 new offices. Both the complexes together have parking space for 1,500 cars.
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