NEW DELHI: Two days after BJP chief JP Nadda wrote a stinging letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi citing party MP Rahul Gandhi’s “duplicity” in criticising the Modi government’s Rs 20,000 crore Central Vista projection despite the raging coronavirus pandemic, but carrying on with the construction of a new assembly building in Congress-ruled Chhattisgarh, the Bhupesh Baghel-led Congress government announced a complete halt to all construction activities related to the new legislature in the state.
In an attempt seen as the Congress-ruled state daring the Union government to follow suit, the Chhatisgarh government said in statement released on Thursday afternoon that in view of the circumstances arising in the state due to coronavirus infection, the Chhattisgarh government has halted construction works of all major projects with immediate effect and also decided to take even more stringent measures for austerity.
“In this regard, extending the measures already being taken, the construction work of new Raj Bhavan, Assembly House, CM House, Ministers and Senior Officers, New Circuit House under construction in Nava Raipur has now been stopped with immediate effect. Bhoomi Pujan of these works was done on 25 November 2019.
The state government has instructed all departments on April 26 that like the previous year austerity should be exercised in the financial year 2021-22,” a government statement said.
The Modi government has faced sharp criticism from opposition parties and civil society groups for deeming the construction of the Central Vista project as “essential”, continuing with its construction, and flattening iconic buildings in Delhi’s Lutyens zone, instead of redirecting the funds allocated to the project for ramping up the country’s health infrastructure to help fight the coronavirus pandemic.
Chhattisgarh CM Baghel’s decision to immediately halt construction of the state legislature, as well as all major construction works in Nava Raipur, now puts the ball back in the Modi government’s court, to halt the Central Vista project.
The Chief Engineer of Public Works department, the government said, issued orders to the concerned contractors to stop the construction work of new Raj Bhavan, new CM House, Ministers and senior officials, new circuit house under construction in Nava Raipur with immediate effect.
In addition, previously issued tenders for construction work of Rs 245.16 crore and 118 crore for the construction of new assembly building in Sector-19 have been canceled with immediate effect.