PM Modi inaugurates two new defence office complexes in Delhi, slams Central Vista project critics

The prime ministers said the modern offices will go a long way in effectively carrying out all the work related to the security of the nation by the three forces.

Published: 16th September 2021 12:52 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th September 2021 06:14 PM   |  A+A-

PM Narendra Modi

PM Narendra Modi (Photo | PTI)


NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday hit out at the critics of the ambitious Central Vista project, saying they conveniently kept silent on defence office complexes being part of the venture as it would have exposed their spreading of "lies" and "misinformation".

He also asserted that ease of living and ease of doing business were behind the spirit of the work being done under the Central Vista project.

Modi made the remarks after inaugurating two new multi-storey swanky office complexes at Kasturba Gandhi Marg and Africa Avenue for over 7,000 employees of the Defence Ministry and the armed forces.

The PM also said he was confident that the work on the new Parliament building will be completed on time.

ALSO READ| Redeveloped Central Vista will host Republic Day parade in 2022: Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri

The Opposition, including the Congress, has been attacking the government over the ambitious Central Vista project, calling it a "criminal wastage" of resources and had urged the government to divert money to battling the COVID pandemic.

In his remarks at the event, Modi said, "Today, in the 75th year of Independence, we are taking another step towards developing the capital of our country according to the needs and aspirations of new India. These new defence office complexes are going to further strengthen our efforts to make the working of our forces more convenient and effective."

The prime minister said that till now defence-related work was being carried out from hutments made during the Second World War and these were made according to the needs of barracks and horse stables.

Modi said that the modern offices will go a long way in effectively carrying out all the work related to the security of the nation by the three forces. "This is a big step towards the creation of a modern defence enclave in the capital," he said.

Hitting out at the critics of the Central Vista project, Modi said, "Those people who were after the Central Vista project were very conveniently silent on this aspect that construction of a place for 7,000 employees of the Defence Ministry and armed forces is part of the project because they knew that their idea of spreading misinformation and lies would be exposed when this comes to the fore."

"But the country is seeing today what we are doing under Central Vista. These modern offices constructed at KG Marg and Africa Avenue will help in getting the work related to defence done effectively," he asserted.

Criticising those opposed to the Central Vista project, Modi said they never bothered to find out how the armed forces personnel were working from hutments.

The officers and other staffers of the Defence Ministry and the armed forces are moving into the new office complexes from their existing workplaces in pre-Independence era hutments in and around the Raisina Hills.

Noting that it has been over 100 years since Delhi became India's capital, he said that in the over 100 years period, its population and circumstances have changed drastically. The prime minister said when we talk about the capital, it is not just a city, and the capital of any country is a symbol of the thinking, determination, strength and culture of that nation. "India is the mother of democracy. Therefore, the capital of India should be such that its central focus should be people," he said.

The two buildings, constructed by the Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry with resources allocated by the Defence Ministry, have an office space of 9.60 lakh sq feet.

"Today, when we are focusing on ease of living and ease of doing business, modern infrastructure plays an equally important role in this. This is the spirit at the core of the work being done today related to Central Vista," the PM said.

Fourteen offices are being relocated to the KG Marg complex having a built-up area of 4.52 lakh sq feet while 13 offices are being relocated to the Africa Avenue building that has a total built-up area of 5.08 lakh sq feet, officials said.

Modi also visited the Defence Office Complex at Africa Avenue and interacted with Army, Navy, Air Force and civilian officers. He appreciated the inclusion of attractive artefacts by Indian artists in the complexes as symbols of 'Atmanirbhar Bharat'. "The complexes reflect the modern form of diversity of our culture while preserving the vitality of Delhi and environment," he said.

Enumerating the efforts of new constructions as per the aspirations of the capital, Modi said that many constructions like residences for people's representatives, efforts to preserve Baba Saheb Ambedkar's memories, many bhawans and memorials for our martyrs are enhancing the glory of the capital today.

The work of the Defence Office Complexes which was to be completed in 24 months has been completed in a record time of just 12 months, he pointed out and added that this was done when all challenges were to the fore in the circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hundreds of workers got employment in this project during the pandemic, he noted. The PM credited this to a new thinking and approach in the government's functioning. "When policies and intentions are clear, will power is strong and efforts honest, everything is possible," he said.

Modi said these defence office complexes are constructed in 13 acre land parcels unlike earlier times when five times more land was used for similar complexes. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said the defence office complexes were in line with the prime minister's vision for 'New India' and his commitment to the Central Vista project.

In his remarks at the event, Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said the redevelopment work of the Central Vista Avenue, stretching from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate, will be completed within two-and-a-half months.

According to the Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry, the project will be ready in time to host the Republic Day parade in 2022.


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