‘New Parliament should be visible from roads’

DUAC chairman P.S.N. Rao.

DUAC chairman P.S.N. Rao.  

The new Parliament building should be visible from the adjoining roads with public art installed on the corner of the plot and a multi-level parking structure nearby should be considered, the Delhi Urban Art Commission observed while approving the government’s proposal for the project last week.

The DUAC recommended that the chambers of the Lok Sabha Speaker and the Rajya Sabha Chairman should have skylights to provide natural light, according to the minutes of the July 1 meeting that were published on the DUAC website on Tuesday.

Revised proposal

The DUAC said it had considered the project proposed by the Central Public Works Department on June 5 but had sent it back with observations. With the project architect, Ahmedabad-based HCP Design, Planning and Management, addressing the concerns and the CPWD submitting a revised proposal, the DUAC considered and passed it on July 1, with six observations.

The new Parliament, proposed to come up on a triangular plot next to the existing Parliament building, should have “public art, fencing, gates of suitable scale, size and material, imparting character and identity to the complex” on the corner adjacent to the Rafi Marg Circle roundabout, it said. The panel recommended that instead of the proposed “scattered” parking around the complex, the local body should consider multi-level facility. This would be to “ensure smooth accessibility and to address environmental concerns”.

The parking structure should cater to all users including MP chambers, staff, media, visitors etc, it said.

The DUAC also proposed that the height of the building along the periphery of the boundary for security services should be such that the new Parliament building is visible from the street.

It also observed that the landscape plan needed to be more detailed and that trees should be planned in such a manner that they provide shade and don’t interfere with pedestrian pathways.

While considering the project on June 5, the DUAC had noted that the new and old buildings should be integrated.

Old and new

“Bearing in mind the fact that the new Parliament is being set in the neighbouring context of the old Parliament building, it was advised to integrate the old and the new Parliament buildings with adequate distance. The inter-spatial space must be defined and detailed not only as a link but also as an important and symbolic space...The elevation design and treatment [of new building] needs to be less overbearing and more representative of the diversity and democratic ideals of a modern India.”

It said the new building, which will be triangular in shape, as seen from Vijay Chowk should be “visually scaled to the present Parliament building”.

The July 1 meeting, where the plan was approved, was attended by DUAC chairperson Prof. P.S.N. Rao and three members — architects Samir Mathur and Abhimanyu Dalal, and Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry Additional Secretary Kamran Rizvi.

Another member, Sonali Rastogi, had attended part of the meeting, but “left mid-way as she had to attend to a prior urgent medical appointment”, the minutes said. Ms. Rastogi put in her papers as a member of the DUAC later that day and it was accepted on July 2.

When approached, Ms. Rastogi told The Hindu on Tuesday that she “cannot comment”. The construction of the Parliament building is part of the proposed revamp of the Central Vista.

The CPWD has recently invited potential bidders to pre-qualify for the construction project, which is estimated to take 21 months from start to finish and cost ₹889 crore, according to the notice inviting bids.

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Printable version | Aug 10, 2020 11:20:41 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kolkata/new-parliament-should-be-visible-from-roads/article32016805.ece

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