Terming the Central Vista project as an essential project of national importance, the Delhi High Court yesterday dismissed a petition which had sought a stay on the construction taking place at Central Vista Avenue during the peak phase of Covid -19 pandemic and imposed a cost of Rs 1 Lakh on the petitioner.
The court said the legality of the project was already upheld by the Supreme Court. It added that even the Delhi Disaster Management Authority allowed it to continue, workers were already present at the site and, therefore, “we see no reason to stop the work”.
“Since the workers who are working at the project are staying on site, there is no question of issuing directions to suspend the work of Central Vista Avenue Redevelopment Project,” said the court, adding the DDMA in the April 19 order has not prohibited construction activity where labourers are residing on-site.
The court said under the contract awarded to the Shapoorji Pallonji Group, work had to be completed by November 2021 and, therefore, it should be allowed to continue.
“This a motivated petition preferred by the petitioner and is not a genuine Public Interest Litigation,” said the court, while imposing a cost on the petitioners.
The plea for halting the work was moved by Anya Malhotra, a translator, and Sohail Hashmi, a historian and documentary filmmaker. The two had contended in their PIL that the project was not an essential activity and can be put on hold for time being.
Centre had sought dismissal of the petition and termed it as “one more attempt” to stall the project.