Giraj's Blogs

Casualties of Central Vista & Horse Trading

The ill-conceived, ill-intended and ill-timed Central Vista Project brings about demolition of some iconic Delhi buildings – both old and new. Among the new ones is Jawahrlal Nehru Bhawan that houses Ministry of External Affairs. This structure is just about a decade old and was among the first government buildings to get a green building certification. But no surprises here – it has a Nehru name and, therefore, must go! Similar logic could also explain the demolishing of Shastri Bhawan and Indira Gandhi  National Centre of Arts. As they say it in Hindi ‘NAMO-nishan mita dunga’. Will erase their names and symbols! Disclaimer: Insinuations on use of the word ‘Namo’ is a figment of your imagination.

One of the other structures to be demolished is 7, Lok Kalyan Marg – the PM’s office cum residence. This blogger wonders as to why we then staged the drama of changing the road’s name sometime back. Apparently it was done because the current occupant felt that ‘Race Course’ Road is an inappropriate name. The horse trading of MLAs in Karnatka, Meghalaya, Manipur, Goa, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Pondicherry notwithstanding. Or is it that MLAs in these states jumped the ship for the ‘kalyan’ (welfare) of ‘lok’ (public)? No, we don’t need a monkey survey on how you feel about horse trading!

Then there is Krishi Bhawan (Agriculture House). Well, if we don’t give a damn to the farmers what good is this building doing anyways.  So let Captain Amrainder build one in Chandigarh. And Vigyan Bhawan (Science Complex) has little relevance when we propagate cow dung as an antidote to the virus. National Museum and a portion of National Archives become obvious choices for demolition when someone is desperate to rewrite history.

All the buildings mentioned in this blog add up to more than half of the Central Vista plan. Chill Delhi, it’s in your destiny to get crushed repeatedly – whatever is the motive. Dilliwalahs are not going to forget the timing of this project in a hurry. When funds were needed to reinforce medical supplies, create temporary medical infra-structure – the Central Government splurged on Central Vista. The least those in power could do is to place an obelisk at a vantage point in Central Vista in memory of folks who lost their lives in the pandemic.

StateOfDelhi Suggests: Our man AK (he hasn’t been up to much these days) is going to be relaxing the lockdown norms from 1st of June. Dilliwalahs, you need to be responsible this time over. Step out only if you have to. And if you are bored sitting at home may we suggest some films to watch or some books to read that will ensure that you stay couched and yet connected to Delhi. Here – check these: https://stateofdelhi.in/books-and-films-on-delhi/

A couple of earlier blogs you may want to check: https://stateofdelhi.in/of-that-f-central-vista-project-dharnas/ https://stateofdelhi.in/mosquitoes-race-course-and-welfare/

Comments

  1. Very sad to hear of all those buildings being torn down. And surely the relaxation of lockdown seems premature. Hope folks have the sense to do it in their own. Stay safe.

  2. Very well researched piece . Now that Nehru Bhawan is a eco friendly building I didn’t know infact most of the people may not be knowing . It’s a I’ll timed and I’ll intended stubbiness . Very well & judiciously written . God save the country.

    1. +1
      Though I am cynical enough to believe that it is already too late to save the country… 🙁

  3. The emperor must leave his mark, na. Except that Delhi emperors built something new without demolishing the old. Instead of Nehru Bhavan some new building called Veer Sarvar Bhavan will come up. Similarly, names like Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, Hegdewar will find a building. I am sure of that. What would be interesting is, will the new parliament building be called the Narender Bhavan?

    1. You are putting the cat among the pigeons, Sanjeev

  4. Very sad reading. Very poignantly written Giraj. Keep them coming…

  5. Central Vista essentially is a greed to retain the surreptitiously acquired real-estate issue at it’s core. Today during the day the Delhi High-court dismissed a petition against the Central Vista project ,finding it to be frivolous and fined the petitioner 1 lacs rupees for wasting courts time. Central Vista a vital, essential national project: Delhi HC dismisses plea to halt work amid Covid pandemic
    https://lnkd.in/dN6aEDv
    Download the TOI app now:
    https://lnkd.in/ds4yuQD

    Increase in the economic activity in these tough times of pandemic infused slowdown will provide jobs to several daily wage earners, increased revenues as added GST and other allied taxes.
    Increased business for Iron & Steel industry, Cement Industry, Stone mining industry, Architects, Engineers just at an expenditure of 50000 crores for the next four years.
    The government shall recover this expenditure of 20,000 crores in the next 20 years by saving on the rent it pays for its offices which is 1000 crores per annum. Additional benefits like increased efficiency because of all ministries being in one complex and several other hidden benefits shall also accrue.
    The least of all, we will have a world class infrastructure improving our image in the view of the people visiting the National capital, this asset will be there for a long time to come.
    Now compare this to the 50,000 crores per annum spent on MANREGA, people just dig ditches without creation of any assets for the nation …… let’s be a little reasonable and forget romanticism of those horrendous structures which we have currently.

  6. Please read 50,000 crores as the expenditure per annum as 5,000 crores, the total planned expenditure is 20,000 crores for the Central Vista project.

  7. Tongue firmly in cheek account of current scenario ?

  8. Your tongue-in-cheek writing is always a pleasure to read… though reading this one made me sad all over again.
    Too many casualties under this government. Not just buildings. But lives too. Unnecessary, thoughtless and cruel.

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