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Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Modi attacks Central Vista critics as he inaugurates two complexes for Defence Ministry

“What should have been done immediately after Independence, started after 2014. Only after we completed making the National War Memorial, did we start the Central Vista Project. We first remembered our brave soldiers and martyrs,” Modi said.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: September 16, 2021 7:16:32 pm
Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the inauguration of the Defence Offices Complex, in New Delhi, Thursday, September 16, 2021. Union Minister for Defence Rajnath Singh and Union Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas Hardeep Singh Puri are also seen. (PTI Photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi hit out at the critics of the Central Vista Project while inaugurating the Defence Offices Complexes in New Delhi on Thursday. The PM said those who were attacking the Central Vista Project would conveniently remain silent as 7,000 employees of the Defence ministry and the armed forces shift to the two new multi-storey office complexes. The Defence Offices Complexes are a part of the Rs 20,000-crore Central Vista Project.

“Today, the country is watching what we are doing with the Central Vista. These modern offices will help those connected with the work of national security in working effectively,” Modi said, adding that it was “a major and significant step towards the development of a modern defence enclave in the capital.”

PM Modi said that when he first came to power in 2014, he felt that the government offices and Parliament were not in a good condition. Then referring to the redevelopment of the Central Secretariat area that houses all important offices and headquarters of the government and also the Parliament, he said: “I could have done it in 2014, but I did not choose that path. First, I decided to make a memorial for the brave soldiers who protect the dignity and the pride of the country, who live and struggle for the country, those who get martyred for the nation.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the inauguration of the Defence Offices Complex, in New Delhi, Thursday, September 16, 2021. Union Minister for Defence Rajnath Singh and other dignitaries are also seen. (PTI Photo)

“What should have been done immediately after Independence, started after 2014. Only after we completed making the National War Memorial, did we start the Central Vista Project. We first remembered our brave soldiers and martyrs,” Modi said.

Speaking about the idea behind the project, he said: “A capital is not just a city, but it is a symbol of a 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.” This, he added, “Is at the core of the thought behind the Central Vista Project.”

He said that in the last few years, emphasis has been laid on new constructions within Delhi, in tune with the “capital’s ambitions”. The PM then highlighted the new residences for elected representatives, statues of Bhimrao Ambedkar and several new state bhavans. Modi further added that the national memorial for soldiers was part of this list and it was making “Delhi proud”.

He also emphasised that the new constructions have been completed before time.

“We have tried to bring in a new work culture with honesty. So that the country’s property is not destroyed, and work gets completed within time.” Modi said, adding that the new defence complexes were an “example of that change in thought”.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the inauguration of the Defence Offices Complex, in New Delhi, Thursday, September 16, 2021. (PTI Photo)

The work that was supposed to be completed in 24 months, he claimed, was carried out within 12 months. He added that half the time was saved despite the pandemic and the consequent lockdown. The PM said that the project also provided jobs to a large number of labour.

“This shows that when morals and conscience are clear, and willpower is strong, and efforts are honest, then nothing is impossible, everything is possible.” Modi said, adding, “I am sure, the new Parliament building will be completed within the set time-period.”

He said that the new defence complexes “are a reflection of another change in the work culture of the government, which is the correct use of available land.”

“It is not right for the country to waste them. As a result of this thought, there is an emphasis on the proper use, with optimum utilisation through proper planning, of land for government departments.” He mentioned that the new complexes are built on 13 acres of land.

Taking another shot at the critics of the Central Vista Project, he said: “People should think about those who keep criticising all our work day and night… In a significant place like Delhi, 62 acres of land were occupied by hutments. We shifted them and these offices with modern amenities have come up in just 13 acres of land.”

“The new Defence Office Complexes will strengthen our efforts to make the work of our armed forces more convenient and more efficient. The hutments, from which the offices were functioning, were built during World War II to cater to the needs of the stables for horses and barracks,” Modi said.

Built at a cost of Rs 775 crore, the new Defence Offices Complexes have a combined space of 9.6 lakh sq ft. The complex on KG Marg will have three blocks, housing 14 offices in a space of 4.52 lakh sq ft. Whereas the complex on Africa Avenue with 13 new offices has a total space of 5.08 lakh sq ft. Both the complexes together have parking space for 1,500 cars.

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