The Delhi High Court will hear today the plea seeking direction to stop or 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 pandemic. The matter was mentioned by senior advocate Siddharth Luthra for preponement of the date of hearing as it was earlier listed for May 17 for a detailed hearing.
It may be recalled here that on May 7, the Supreme Court had urged Delhi High Court to consider the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by petitioner Anya Malhotra seeking a stay in construction work of the Central Vista project in New Delhi amid the prevailing condition of coronavirus cases across the country and asked the High Court to issue orders related to the matter.
Petitioners Anya Malhotra and Sohail Hashmi were represented by senior advocate Sidharth Luthra in the matter who stated that the petition is concerned with the ongoing construction activity in part of the Central Vista Redevelopment Project designated as ‘Central Vista Avenue Redevelopment Project’ and 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 states that at a time when the city of 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.
Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma appeared for Union of India earlier had opposed the plea and said petition is of doubtful credentials.