The Union government’s proposal to construct a new Parliament building was on Monday approved by the Heritage Conservation Committee (HCC), whose clearance was mandated by the Supreme Court in its January 5 judgment allowing the project.
The apex court ordered that the permission of the HCC, which is headed by a Housing and Urban Affairs (HUA) Ministry additional secretary and comprises government officials primarily, should be obtained before any work starts on the ground.
At a press conference, HUA Secretary Durga Shanker Mishra said the HCC had discussed the proposal and cleared it on Monday. The HCC looked at the preservation of heritage as per the Unified Building Bye-Laws, 2016. Permission was not sought earlier as the Ministry, whose Central Public Works Department is carrying out the project, felt there was no heritage involved. The new building was proposed to be built adjacent to the existing Parliament, which was built in the 1920s.
Since the court ordered it to get the approval of the HCC, the Ministry had complied, Mr. Mishra said. HUA Minister Hardeep Puri said the timeline for the completion was 2022, the 75th year of Independence.
Another part of the larger Central Vista Avenue redevelopment project, the revamp of Rajpath or Central Vista Avenue, would be started by February 1, with the contract likely to be awarded soon, Mr. Mishra said. The Republic Day Parade next year would be held on the revamped Rajpath.
Asked about the cost of the Central Vista redevelopment project, the Minister said: “I don’t know what the overall cost will be. The cost will be absorbed by each of the Ministries in their own Budget.”
The project includes the construction of a new Parliament building, redevelopment of Rajpath, development of a Central Secretariat for all Ministries, new Prime Minister’s residence and office and Vice-President’s residence.
Mr. Puri said the Ministry would be launching a website on public consultations regarding the project soon, in response to criticism that transparent processes have not been followed.