Does India need a New Parliament Building?
After Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone on December 10 for an ultra-modern triangular Parliament building, a lot of debate has centred around the need for a new structure and whether public money should be spent by the Government now. This new structure is to replace the 93-year-old circular Parliament House, which was designed by architects Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker in 1912-13 and inaugurated in 1927.
The new Parliament building will have a triangular shape and is expected to be completed by the 75th anniversary of India’s independence in 2022. The government plans to hold the monsoon session of Parliament in 2022 in the new building. The new building is being constructed by Tata Projects Ltd. The project is estimated to cost Rs 971 crore.
Does India need a New Parliament Building?
Facts about Existing Parliament Building
- The current parliament building is stated in New Delhi.
- It was designed by Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker for British empire’s Imperial Legislative Council but after the end of British rule, it was taken over as Indian Parliament House.
- Construction of this building started in 1920, it took 6 years to complete and finally inaugurated on 18 January 1927.
- The shape of the building is circular with 144 columns outside.
- It includes a circular central hall at the centre and three other semi-circular chambers: a Lok sabha hall, a Rajya sabha hall and a library.
- Surrounding these chambers is a four-storeyed structure for accommodations of members and offices, the ministry of parliamentary affairs.
- This building can accommodate 543 MPs in Lok Sabha and 245 MPs in Rajya Sabha.
Why the new parliament building is needed?
- With the delimitation in 2026 process after 50 years freeze on the number of MPs, the MPs in Lok sabha are likely to increase up to 880. Present Lok sabha hall has only 552 seats and can not be increased further. Already wall on the back of the hall was taken down once adding corridor space to increase seating capacity.
- The same problem is with Joint hall which is used during joint sessions. Due to lack of space during joint sessions temporary chairs are arranged on aisles.
- The number of people working and visiting there has increased over the years, so more space is needed.
- Technologies present in the current building are now outdated New technologies like electronic polling,
Facts About New Building
- The structure would be built on an area of 64,500 sq m. The building will have space to accommodate 888 MPs in Lok Sabha and 384 in Rajya Sabha. The existing building can seat 543 in Lok Sabha and 245 in Rajya Sabha. The expansion has been done keeping in mind the delimitation exercise scheduled to take place in 2026.
- The building will not have the iconic Central Hall present in the existing structure.
- As many as 2000 people would be directly and 9000 would be indirectly involved in the construction of the building.
- 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.
- In September this year, Tata Projects Limited won the bid to construct the new parliament building at cost of Rs 861.90 crore. The new building will be constructed close to the existing one under the Central Vista redevelopment project.
- The existing Parliament House building 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 British era building, designed by Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker who were responsible for planning and construction of New Delhi.
- 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.
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