The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a PIL challenging the change in land use of a plot where the new official residences of the Vice-President and Prime Minister will come up as part of the ambitious Central Vista project.

The authority concerned had proposed a change of use to residential area from recreational at the plot No-1 to proposed residence of the dignitaries and it was challenged by petitioner Rajeev Suri on the ground that the development will result in loss of open green area for the public.

However, the Bench of Justice AM Khanwilkar, Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice CT Ravikumar dismissed the plea after taking note of the submissions made by Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta.

The Bench stated that sufficient explanation has been offered by authorities concerned which justify the change in land use of the plot. We find no reason to examine the matter further and therefore put a quietus to the entire controversy by dismissing this petition. The authority notified the change of use of plot No.1 spread across 9 acre on October 28, 2020.

Earlier, the Central Government had filed an affidavit stating that plot No.1 is being used for government offices for almost 90 years and as per actual ground condition, no recreational activities exist there.

The Central Vista revamp, announced in September 2019 envisages a new triangular Parliament building, with a seating capacity for 900 to 1,200 MPs that is to be constructed by August, 2022 when the country will celebrate its 75th Independence Day.

The common Central Secretariat is to be built by 2024 under the project that covers a three-km stretch from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate in the national capital. The Apex Court was considering a petition challenging the change in land use of plot number one from recreational area to residential.

With PTI inputs