Union Urban Development Minister Hardeep Puri on Friday said not a single tree will be cut and the green cover will be multiplied 10 times in the ministry's Central Vista redevelopment plan, which will include renovation of Parliament, construction of a new central secretariat and revamping of Rajpath.
The minister said this at the launch of the mobile app, "mHariyali," to encourage public engagement in planting trees and other such green drives. People can upload information/photos of any plantation done by them, which is linked to app and will be displayed on the website www.epgc.gov.in.
"The green cover will be multiplied 10 times. Not a single tree will be cut. That has been my policy from the day go. There is no question of taking a 100-year-old tree and cutting it," Puri said when asked if the ministry''s plans for the central vista affect the green cover in the area.
He also said that at this stage only ideas are being floated and there will be widespread public consultation before anything is finalised.
"Public buildings like Rashtrapati Bhavan, North Block, South Block or Parliament, there is no ambiguity about them. The use of these buildings might change - South Block can be used as a historical museum, we might decide to use Parliament as just a chamber for the Lok Saba and build another one. These are all ideas that will be taken on board. Each stage will be in the open. Heritage will stay as it is, it will not only be preserved but also showcased," he said assuring that no heritage buildings will come to any harm.
Union Housing and Urban Affairs Secretary Durga Shankar Mishra said the firm to execute the plans will be finalised before Diwali. Currently, six firms are in contention for the project, he said.