The Central Vista project to redevelop Delhi's Rajpath is a dream project for PM Narendra Modi, Union Minister for Housing & Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri said while speaking at Agenda AajTak 2019.
When asked about the thinking of the government behind the redevelopment of Central Vista and areas near Rajpath, Puri said that the project is not a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) project and but that of the government.
He said, "Central Vista project is not a BJP project but the government's project. It was Prime Minister Narendra Modi's old dream."
"For the project, we conducted a design competition and there were 27 applicants. This was a global tender. Indian architects, design companies, international companies, urban planners and many more participated in the competition. A total of six were shortlisted," said Hardeep Singh Puri.
Talking about the current design of the Vista project, the minister said, "The current design does not include dismantling traditional heritage infrastructure such as Rashtrapati Bhawan, North Block, South Block, and Parliament building. However, their usage can be changed."
"There are reasons for this. The buildings have been constructed between 1911 and 1927. These buildings are not efficient buildings and they pose a problem for seismic challenges. We are spending Rs 1,000 crore every year from the government fund to get accommodation spaces for government offices. Space is there but its utilization is sub-optimal and we need to resolve that."
Puri also talked about unauthorised colonies and the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY). He said his ministry has sanctioned over 9 million homes under the scheme till November and will sanction another crore by March 2020. Out of the 9.7 million homes that have been sanctioned, foundations have been laid for about seven lakh homes, Puri said.
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