The new Parliament building, whose foundation stone will be laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 10, will likely to be ready by 2022, Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla said on Saturday, adding that the Parliament session in that year will hopefully be held at the new building. Birla added that the construction of the building will directly involve 2,000 people and indirectly involve 9,000 people.
“The new building will showcase the cultural diversity of the country. Hopefully, in the 75th year of Independence (2022), Parliament session will be held in the new building,” he said.
Tata Projects Limited won the bid to construct the new Parliament building, close to the existing one, at a cost of Rs 861.90 crore under the Central Vista redevelopment project in September this year.
Here’s a look at the features of the new Parliament building:
Spread over 64,500 square metres, earthquake resistance: The new building will have an area of 64,500 square metres and is being built at an estimated cost of Rs 971 crore, Birla said and added that the new building will be earthquake resistant.
To be built indigenously: “The existing temple of democracy is completing 100 years… It is a matter of pride for our countrymen that the new one will be built by our own people as a prime example of Aatmanirbhar Bharat,” the Lok Sabha speaker said.
Seating capacity for over 1,000 MPs: According to the Lok Sabha speaker, as many as 1,224 MPs can sit together in the building, while a new office complex for all MPs of both the houses would be built at the site of the existing Shram Shakti Bhawan. In the new building, the Lok Sabha chamber will have a seating capacity for 888 members, while Rajya Sabha will have 384 seats for the upper house members. This has been done keeping in mind the future increase in the number of members for the two houses. At present, Lok Sabha has a sanctioned strength of 543 members and Rajya Sabha of 245.
Number of floors: Om Birla said the outlook of the new building will be similar to the existing one. “There will be a basement, ground, first and second floors in the new building and its height will be same as the old building so that both should are in symmetry,” he said.
Pollution control measures: Officials have said steps have been taken to control air and noise pollution during the construction work for the new Parliament building, which will have separate offices for all MPs.
Paperless offices: The office of all MPs in the new building will be equipped with the latest digital interfaces as a step towards creating ‘paperless offices’.
Grand Constitution Hall, library, lounge: The new building will also have a grand Constitution Hall to showcase India’s democratic heritage, a lounge for members of Parliament, a library, multiple committee rooms, dining areas and ample parking space.
What happens to the existing Parliament House?: The existing Parliament building will be conserved as it is an archaeological asset of the country. It will be suitably retro-fitted to provide more functional spaces for parliamentary events, to ensure its usage along with the new building. The existing building is a massive circular edifice of 560 feet in diameter.
The foundation stone of the existing Parliament House was laid on February 12, 1921, and the construction took six years and cost Rs 83 lakh at that time. The opening ceremony was performed on January 18, 1927, by the then governor-general of India, Lord Irwin.
(With agency inputs)