Modi ignores criticism and lays foundation stone for ‘vulgar’ ...

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Modi ignores criticism and lays foundation stone for ‘vulgar’ new capital

New Delhi wants buildings to reflect India’s ascendancy, but conservationists are furious

Amy Kazmin

Narendra Modi has laid the foundation stone for a new parliament building that will form part of a contentious and “vulgar” $2,7bn (about R40,5bn) overhaul of New Delhi’s imperial heart.

The redevelopment of the capital’s colonial era, 3km-long ceremonial avenue, which links the grand presidential palace to the monumental India Gate, has been called “Modi’s dream”. It is also intended to boost the prime minister’s image as the architect of an ascendant India with a new capital befitting its stature.

“When the British built these buildings they never had an independent India on the horizon,” Hardeep Singh Puri, the minister of housing and urban affairs, said. “The idea is to make this look like the capital of an independent country with landmark buildings.”..

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