PM Modi to lay foundation and perform 'bhumi pujan' for new Parliament building on December 10
PM Modi to lay foundation and perform 'bhumi pujan' for new Parliament building on December 10
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Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla on Saturday said that PM Narendra Modi will lay the foundation and perform 'bhumi pujan' for new Parliament building in New Delhi on December 10.

The new building will also have a grand Constitution Hall to showcase India's democratic heritage, a lounge for members of Parliament, a library, multiple committee rooms, dining areas and ample parking space.

In the new building, the Lok Sabha chamber will have a seating capacity for 888 members, while Rajya Sabha will have 384 seats for the upper house members, sources said after a review meeting chaired by Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla. This has been done keeping in mind the future increase in the number of members for the two houses.

At present, Lok Sabha has a sanctioned strength of 543 members and Rajya Sabha of 245.

In a statement released in October, Lok Sabha Secretariat had stated that the construction of a new Parliament building will begin in December this year and is likely to be completed by October 2022.

It has also stated that while necessary measures have been put in place to ensure that Parliament sessions can be held uninterrupted during this period in the existing buildings

The existing building is a British era building, designed by Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker who were responsible for planning and construction of New Delhi.

The Foundation Stone of the existing Parliament House was laid on February 12, 1921, and the construction took six years and cost Rs 83 lakh at that time. The opening ceremony was performed on January 18, 1927, by the then Governor-General of India, Lord Irwin.

In September, Tata Projects Limited won the bid to construct the new parliament building at a cost of Rs 861.90 crore. The new building will be constructed close to the existing one under the Central Vista redevelopment project.

The ''Constitution Hall'' will house the original copy of the Constitution, digital displays for showcasing India''s democratic heritage etc. Visitors will be given access to this hall to help them to appreciate and understand India''s journey as a parliamentary democracy.

The redevelopment project of Central Vista -- the nation''s power corridor -- envisages a new triangular parliament building, a common central secretariat and revamping of the 3-km-long Rajpath, from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate.

Under the Central Vista redevelopment project, the prime minister''s residence and office are also likely to be shifted near the South Block and the vice-president''s new house will be in the vicinity of the North Block.

According to the plan, the vice president''s current residence is among those buildings identified by the government for demolition in Lutyens'' Delhi for the purpose of the project. There are plans to covert the North and South Blocks, which symbolise the government''s authority since their inception in Lutyens'' Delhi, into museums.

Gujarat-based architecture firm HCP Designs has designed the Central Vista redevelopment project. The firm has the responsibility of preparing the master plan of the project, including designs landscape and traffic integration plans, and parking facilities among others.

In September last year, Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri had said the British ruled India for 190 years and they had good architects who built buildings which is now part of the country''s cultural heritage.

The government is likely to demolish buildings such as Udyog Bhawan, Krishi Bhawan and Shastri Bhawan to facilitate a new Central Secretariat which will house offices of several ministries. Puri had said that buildings that had been built in the 1960s and 70s should have been torn down many years ago.

The existing building is a massive circular edifice of 560 feet in diameter.

The Parliament House Estate is enclosed by an ornamental red sandstone wall or iron grills with iron gates that can be closed when occasions demand. The building has in all twelve gates.

(With inputs from PTI)

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