Lok Sabha Speaker proposes new Parliament building
Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan, wrote to Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu asking him to consider initiating action for construction of a new Parliament building. The sources said as a possible follow-up to the letter, the Urban Development Ministry may prepare a note for the Cabinet where the matter could be considered. The new building is envisaged to serve for the next 100 years.
Construction, early history of the Parliament
Also known as the House of Parliament, it was designed by the British architect Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker in 1912-1913. Construction began on the building in 1921 and in 1927 it was officially inaugurated by Lord Irwin, the Viceroy of India. The House of Parliament was originally known as the Central Legislative Assembly and Rs.83 lakhs were spent on its construction.
Both the English and Hindi versions of the Constitution of India originally calligraphed by the members of the Constituent Assembly have been preserved in nitrogen-filled chambers within the Parliament House Library.
Delhi may get new Parliament building
Lok Sabha secretary general T K Viswanathan said that the government was considering constructing a new parliament building to replace the 85-year-old building that may develop structural stability issues. The Central Public Works Department had said that the building required renovation due to deteriorating conditions. A committee was set up under Meira Kumar to examine the current structure and submit recommendations to the government.
Why a new Parliament building now?
In 2012 and 2015, "signs of distress" and "structural stability" were the primary reasons cited for the proposal. With projected increase in population, by 2026 the number of seats in Lok Sabha would go up and require additional seating. Officials cited the increase in staff and media footfall in the building compared to 1927, saying the present structure couldn't cope with the growing numbers.
The Central Hall of Parliament
The Parliament's Central Hall is where India's Constitution was framed and the transfer of power from the British to India took place on 15 August 1947. It currently hosts joint-sessions of Parliament.
Hurdles for redevelopment and alternate solutions
The current Parliament complex is a "Heritage Grade-1" structure and hence there are several legal restrictions on the scope of redevelopment activities. Sumitra Mahajan proposed two ideas, one for the re-development of the existing building, and the other to construct a new building next to Rajpath. She also suggested that an underground link beneath Rajpath can provide connectivity between the two buildings.