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Parliament project set for launch

Architectural illustration of the front portion of proposed new Parliament building. Photo: Special Arrangement   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Saturday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi would on December 10 lay the foundation stone for the new Parliament building, which would be a symbol of “atmanirbhar Bharat” and a “temple of democracy” for Independent India.

Addressing the media at his residence here, Mr. Birla said the project would be initiated with a “bhoomi pujan” by the Prime Minister. He said the floor leaders of political parties would be invited, and depending on COVID-19 protocols, some of the invitees would attend virtually. The event would be telecast live as well, he said.

He said the long-pending demand of MPs for a new and modern building and offices for all MPs had been addressed. The MPs’ offices, of 40 square metres each, would be built in place of the Shram Shakti Bhawan by 2024 and would be connected to Parliament via underground pathway, he said.

22-month plan

The new building would be built adjacent to the existing building over 22 months.

“The existing temple of democracy is going to complete 100 years,” he said, adding that it would become the temple of democracy for Independent India.

He said it was a matter of pride that artisans and sculptors from across the country would contribute to the new building, showcasing diversity and making it a symbol of “Atmanirbhar Bharat”. He said the Indian democracy had strengthened over the years, starting from Parliament where the Constitution was written. The existing building would be preserved for future generations, he said.

Watch | Features of the new Parliament building
 

The building would have modern equipment, be earthquake-safe and accommodate up to 1,224 MPs during joint sessions in the Lok Sabha chamber. The Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha chambers themselves would accommodate 888 and 384 MPs respectively.

The building, to be constructed by Tata Projects Ltd. at ₹971 crore, would have a built-up area of 64,500 square metres over four floors. Mr. Birla said he hoped the Winter Session of Parliament would be held in the new building when the country celebrates 75 years of Independence. He said the project would employ 2,000 people directly and 9,000 indirectly.

According to government sources, the existing British-built Parliament building, built in the 1920s, was designed for the Imperial Legislative Council and not for a bicameral Parliament. The building has been modified over the years, including in 1956 when two floors were added.

While the number of Lok Sabha seats has remained 545 based on delimitation carried out on the basis of the 1971 Census, it is likely to increase after 2026 as the number of seats has been frozen till then. The sources said the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha halls are packed and would not be able to accommodate additional seats when the number of seats goes up. The new Lok Sabha chamber would be three times the size of the current one, they said.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2021 5:45:08 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/pm-modi-to-lay-foundation-stone-for-new-parliament-building-on-dec-10/article33257849.ece

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