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New Parliament design will take time

The draft masterplan envisages a triangular-shaped building opposite the existing Parliament House.Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

The draft masterplan envisages a triangular-shaped building opposite the existing Parliament House.Shiv Kumar Pushpakar  

Lockdown likely to affect deadline; architect says MPs’ concerns being addressed

The design for the new Parliament building that the Centre is hoping to complete by August 2022 could be delayed by a few weeks as the country remains in lock-down, according to sources.

The Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry’s construction agency, the Central Public Works Department, was expecting to prepare the detailed project report for the building in March and present the same to the Lok Sabha Speaker and the Vice-President soon after, according to CPWD officials.

The tender inviting bids for the construction of the building would have been issued shortly after, in keeping with the May deadline set by the Ministry earlier, officials said.

The timeline could be pushed back due to the lockdown.

Bimal Patel, director of the Ahmedabad-based HCP Design, Planning and Management, which was selected by the CPWD in October 2019 as its consultant for the project, told The Hindu that though the pandemic was “disruptive”, he hoped it would not change the final deadline of the project.

“The COVID–19 pandemic is a time of much distress in the world. Yes, it is disruptive but MoHUA, CPWD, HCP DPM and all the onboard consultants are continuing to work in this period of lock-down...Many calls and video conferencing are ensuring that we continue to work at our best possible pace in these tumultuous times. We hope to not let this disruption affect the final deadlines of the project,” he said.

The draft masterplan drawn up by the HCP envisages a triangular-shaped building opposite the existing circular Parliament House. However, the design process would “continue in the coming few weeks”, Mr. Patel said, adding that concerns raised by MPs at a recent meeting would be addressed.

“Design as a process requires regular feedback from the end-users, in this case the Members of Parliament, the Vice-President and the Speaker. After presenting the design to this gathering, a few concerns were raised and now the design is evolving with the intention to accommodate them,” he said.

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