The Supreme Court of India has given the green light for the construction of India’s new parliament building in New Delhi.
The $1.8bn project, which Narendra Modi’s government hopes to complete in time for the 75th anniversary of Indian independence in August 2022, broke ground on 10 December. It was then halted over allegations that it breached environmental and land-use legislation, claims that the court dismissed by two votes to one. Â
A heritage panel will now rule on the wider plan to renovate New Delhi’s Central Vista district before construction can resume.
The triangular parliament, to be built by Tata Projects to a blueprint drawn up by Indian architect HCP Designs, will have a space for 900 representatives. It will replace the Sir Edwin Lutyens building,Â opened in 1927, which the Indian government says is no longer fit for purpose.
The plan has been criticised as a costly luxury at a time when the Indian economy is struggling with the economic fallout from the pandemic.
Randeep Singh Surjewala, a spokesperson for the Indian National Congress opposition, said the project was being propelled by "a whimsical autocrat seeking to etch his name in the annals of history with cement and mortar".
Tushar Mehta, India’s solicitor general, said the new parliament would save billions of public money by facilitating better coordination and efficiency among government departments.
Image: A rendering of the planned parliament by HCP Designs