- PM is to perform groundbreaking ceremony for new Parliament building
- Ahead of tomorrow's event, PM Modi received a letter from KCR
- Central Vista project is a "project of national importance", KCR wrote
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, set to symbolically launch a part of the ambitious Central Vista project tomorrow, received a letter of congratulations from Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao calling it a "project of national importance" and a symbol of national pride and self-esteem.
"The new Central Vista project will be a symbol of self-esteem, prestige and national pride of a resurgent, confident and strong India. I wish for the speedy completion of this prestigious and nationally important project," Mr Rao, popularly known as KCR, wrote in the brief letter.
He said the project was long overdue as the existing government infrastructure in the national capital is "inadequate and also associated with our colonial past".
PM Modi is to perform a groundbreaking ceremony for a new Parliament building that will be built at nearly Rs 1,000 crore as part of the grand Central Vista project to refurbish buildings in the seat of power in Delhi.
The event was allowed by an upset Supreme Court, which rebuked the government for "moving forward aggressively" on the project even before its decision on petitions challenging the plan over environmental concerns.
"You can lay the foundation stone, you can carry on paperwork but no construction or demolition, no cutting down any trees," the Supreme Court told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the government.
The Rs. 20,000-crore Central Vista project seeks to redevelop a 3-km stretch from the presidential palace Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate. The project will be aligned along Rajpath, the ceremonial road between the two buildings, and form the seat of the government that will start with the North Block. The project has drawn criticism from opposition parties, historians and green activists.
KCR probably hopes his praise for the PM's pet project will take some of the sting off the ruling BJP's attack over his decision to demolish a historic 150-year-old secretariat building in Hyderabad, showing skewed priorities at the height of the coronavirus pandemic. The Chief Minister, who believes in Vastu, wants a new office building at the cost of Rs 600 crores with six floors - he considers the number "six" lucky.
The sweeping move made for bad optics for the Chief Minister, whose Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) recently won the Hyderabad civic polls by a vastly reduced margin, with the BJP scoring big gains at its cost and emerging as the main opposition.
The TRS yesterday even participated in the nationwide Bharat Bandh or shutdown in support of farmers ranged against the BJP-led central government and raised slogans against PM Modi.