Despite Covid, India presses ahead with $1.8 billion parliament renovation
May 6, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.
Compression ratio: 19.4%. 1 min read.
BARASAT, INDIA - APRIL 12: Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a public rally for West Bengal Assembly Election at Barasat on April 12, 2021 in North 24 Parganas, India. (Photo by Samir Jana/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
While hospitals plead for life-saving oxygen and Covid-19 patients die in their thousands, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi is pushing ahead with a $1.8 billion parliamentary revamp -- including a new home for the country's leader.
The decision to continue with the project in the capital, New Delhi, has infuriated the public and opposition politicians, who have pointed to the apparent disconnect in pouring millions into a construction project at a time when the country is struggling with its worst-ever public health crisis.
The pricey renovation, known as the Central Vista Redevelopment Project, has been categorized as an "essential service," meaning construction is allowed to continue even when most other building projects have been halted.
The petitioners argue the parliament buildings don't constitute an essential service and construction work could even become a Covid super-spreader event, according to special leave petition filed by lawyer Nitin Saluja.
"People are dying of Covid but (Prime Minister Modi's) priority is the Central Vista project," tweeted Yashwant Sinha, the former minister of finance and external affairs.