Modi to lay foundation for new Indian Parliament next week
Publish- December 05, 2020, 08:28 PM
S Kumar - UNB Delhi Correspondent
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
India's ambitious plan to modernise old and important colonial-era government buildings in Delhi will kick off next week. To start with, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone for a new Parliament building on December 10.
The USD 117 million new building will be larger than the current one that was built in the 1920s. It will have seating arrangements for 1,400 MPs, and is expected to be completed by 2022, when India celebrates its 75 years of independence.
"The existing temple of democracy is completing 100 years… It is a matter of pride for our countrymen that the new one will be built by our own people as a prime example of Atma Nirbhar Bharat," Indian Parliament Speaker Om Birla told the media on Saturday.
At present, Lok Sabha (lower house of Parliament) has a sanctioned strength of 543 members and Rajya Sabha (upper house) of 245.
Sharing details of the proposed complex, he said, "The new building will showcase the cultural diversity of the country. Hopefully, in the 75th year of independence, the Parliament session will be held in the new building."
Birla said the new building will be earthquake-proof resistant and 2,000 people will be directly involved in the construction and 9,000 indirectly. "The existing Parliament building will be conserved as it is an archaeological asset of the country," Birla said.
The existing Parliament was designed by Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker, who were responsible for planning and construction of the Indian capital by then British government. The construction took six years and was inaugurated in 1927 by the then Viceroy of India.
The Parliament is 170 metres in diameter and covers an area of 2.4 hectares. The Central Hall consists of the chambers of Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, and the Library hall. Surrounding these chambers is the four-storeyed circular structure providing offices for members.