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Saturday May 08 2021
Web Desk

Modi pushes ahead with $1.8 billion parliamentary revamp despite critical COVID-19 situation

Web Desk
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Photo: Reuters
  • Modi pushed ahead with a 1.57 million parliamentary revamp despite country going through worst-ever health crisis due to COVID-19.
  • The renovation plan includes a new house for the premier and has been categorised under "essential service."
  • Two petitioners have taken the matter to the Supreme Court, demanding to halt the construction project due to the gravity of the situation.

Despite India undergoing a critical coronavirus situation as the number of infections rises to 1.57 million together with 15,100 deaths this week alone, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is pushing ahead with a parliamentary revamp which would cost $1.8 billion, CNN reported Friday.

According to the outlet, the renovation plan includes a new house for the premier. The decision has not settled with the Indian masses and the Opposition parties who are of the view that spending such a huge amount of money in revamping the parliament is senseless when the country is struggling with its worst-ever public health crisis.

The revamp plan has been named the Central Vista Redevelopment Project, the outlet said, adding that the Indian government has placed the plan under the category of "essential service." On the other hand, most other construction projects in the country have been paused due to the situation.

Protesting the government's move, two citizens — including one whose mother also tested positive for the coronavirus — filed a petition against the plan at the Delhi High Court, demanding to stop the construction. According to the report, construction work on the project has not been halted despite the entire city undergoing a lockdown. 

In the petition, it has been argued that the government should not place construction work under the category of essential service, adding that labourers working on the project are also at risk of contracting and spreading the virus. 

In response to the petition, the Delhi High Court said that it would hear the case later this month, however, the petitioners — citing the gravity of the situation — have taken the matter to the country's Supreme Court, the report said.