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File photo: A mirage appears on the Rajpath as the mercury soars in New Delhi (Sanjeev Rastogi/TOI, Delhi, BCCL)
File photo: A mirage appears on the Rajpath as the mercury soars in New Delhi (Sanjeev Rastogi/TOI, Delhi, BCCL)

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(Sanjeev Rastogi/TOI, Delhi, BCCL)

On Thursday, Rajya Sabha raised the question of whether environmental clearance is possible for alteration in the Central Vista project located in the National Capital. However, the Government evaded the question with a vague answer.

Jawahar Sicar, Rajya Sabha Member, questioned MoEF&CC about climate change and the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change. He asked the Government if they knew the extent to which the permeable surfaces had changed due to a dramatic increase in parking areas and the U-shaped connection underground rail with the nearby metro station. This requires environmental clearance (for the Central Vista Project).

Minister of State in the MoEF&CC Ashwini Kumar Choubey answered: “Environmental sustainability is at the core of the development/redevelopment of Central Vista, and the overall green cover within the Central Vista area will increase. The parking area is also equipped with grass pavers. There will not be a significant decrease in permeable surfaces. At the moment, plans for underground metro connectivity are in planning stages.

Although the answer stated that there will not be a significant reduction in permeable surfaces, it didn’t specify how much. It also stated that underground metro connectivity is in the planning stage and avoided the issue of environmental clearance.

Sircar’s question about whether specific environmental clearance could possibly be obtained from the Expert Appraisal Committee for major changes proposed by the avenue development along Rajpath Lawns, road and entire public landscape as part the Central Vista project, was addressed by the Minister. “As per information provided by MoHUA & Central Public Works Departments (CPWD), no specific environmental clearance is required for redevelopment of Central Vista Avenue, as the total built-up area is less than 20,000 sq mt,” said the Minister.

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The headline and text of the above article were published by a wire agency.

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