PM Modi To Lay Foundation Stone For New Parliament Building on Dec. 10
Narendra Modi, India’s prime minister, gestures as he speaks in Tokyo. (Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg)

PM Modi To Lay Foundation Stone For New Parliament Building on Dec. 10

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on 10 December lay the foundation stone of India’s new parliament building, construction of which is likely to be completed by 2022 at an estimated cost of Rs 971 crore.

Tata Projects Ltd. had in September won the contract to construct the new parliament building at a cost of Rs 861.90 crore. The new building will come up near the existing structure as part of Central Vista redevelopment project. The existing parliament will be retrofitted to provide more functional spaces for events, to ensure its usage along with the new building.

“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,” Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla said in New Delhi on Saturday. "The new building will showcase the cultural diversity of the country. Hopefully, in the 75th year of independence, parliament session will be held in the new building.”

Old Building

The existing parliament building, a circular edifice that is 560 feet in diameter, will be conserved as it is an archaeological asset of the country, Birla said.

The British-era structure was designed by Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker, who were responsible for planning and construction of New Delhi. The foundation stone was laid on February 12, 1921, and the construction took six years to complete at the cost of Rs 83 lakh at that time. The opening ceremony was performed on January 18, 1927, by the then Governor-General of India, Lord Irwin.

The Parliament House Estate is enclosed by an ornamental red sandstone wall or iron grills with iron gates that can be closed. The building has twelve gates.

New Building

The new parliament building, estimated to be spread over 64,500 square metres, will be earthquake-resistant, Birla said, adding that 2,000 people will be directly involved in the construction of the new building and 9,000 indirectly.

As many as 1,224 members of parliament will be able to sit together in the new house. A new office complex for all of them would be built at the site of the existing Shram Shakti Bhawan.

According to the Lok Sabha speaker, 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 are in symmetry.”

Sufficient steps have been taken to control air and noise pollution during construction work for the new parliament building, which will have separate offices for all MPs. It will also have a grand Constitution Hall to showcase India’s democratic heritage, a lounge for MPs, a library, multiple committee rooms, dining areas and ample parking space.

The Lok Sabha chamber will have a seating capacity for 888 members, while Rajya Sabha will have 384 seats for the upper house members. At present, Lok Sabha has a sanctioned strength of 543 members and Rajya Sabha of 245.

Dec. 10 Ceremony

The Lok Sabha speaker said the invitation for the foundation stone-laying ceremony will be extended to all political parties. Some would attend physically and others would attend virtually, while following all covid-related guidelines, Birla said.

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