New Parliament building: Modi to lay foundation stone next week
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone for the new Parliament building on December 10 (Thursday), Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla said on Saturday. Birla described the proposed building as a "temple of Aatmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India)," adding that it would reflect the diversity of the nation. The building will likely be ready by 2022, he said. Here are more details.
Birla said, "It has been decided that the foundation stone laying ceremony of the new Parliament building will be held on December 10 at 1 pm." He said the ceremony will begin with a "bhumi pujan" performed by Modi. Both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha will begin sessions in the new building on the completion of India's 75 years of independence (2022), he added.
Birla said that 2,000 people are directly involved in the construction of the new building and 9,000 people are indirectly involved. A new office complex for all Members of Parliament (MPs) of both Houses would be built at the site of the existing Shram Shakti Bhawan. The building, which will also be earthquake resistant, is being built at an expense of Rs. 971 crore.
Tata Projects Limited has been awarded the contract for the project. The design has been prepared by HCP Design, Planning and Management Private Limited, Birla said. The Central Public Works Department (CPWD) said it would ensure that all safety protocols are maintained during the construction.
The new building will be built in an area of 64,500 square meters, roughly 17,000 square meters bigger than the existing Parliament building, Birla said. The new Lok Sabha chamber will have a seating capacity for 888 members, while the Rajya Sabha chamber will seat 384 members. Currently, the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha have a sanctioned strength of 543 and 245 respectively.
Birla said that the existing Parliament building will be conserved as an archaeological asset. The foundation stone of the building was laid on February 12, 1921, and its opening ceremony was performed on January 18, 1927. The building—which cost Rs. 83 lakh at the time—was designed by Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker, who were also responsible for the planning and construction of New Delhi.