Amid criticism over environmental concerns and pending litigations in the Supreme Court, PM Modi on Thursday laid the foundation stone of the new parliament building at a formal ceremony. The construction on the new parliament building, which is part of the ambitious central vista project, will not begin as of now because of pending litigations in the Supreme Court.
The formal ceremony was attended by Cabinet ministers, leaders from various political parties and ambassadors of various countries. Ratan Tata also attended the ceremony. Notably, Ratan Tata’s Tata Projects will be constructing the new parliament building close to the existing one.
In September, it won the bid to construct the new parliament building at an estimated cost of Rs 971 crore. The target is to construct it by August 2022 when the country will be celebrating its 75th Independence Day. The common Central Secretariat is likely to be built by 2024 as part of the project.
The new building will have an area of 64,500 square metres. It 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 the Rajya Sabha will have 384 seats for members. The Lok Sabha chamber will have an option to increase its sitting capacity to 1,224 members during joint sessions. 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 245.
Usage of existing building
The existing Parliament House building will be suitably retro-fitted to provide more functional spaces for parliamentary events, to ensure its usage along with the new building.
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 12 gates.
SC slams Centre
The Supreme Court had on Monday slammed the Union government for going ahead with the central vista project despite the pendency of cases related to it in the top court.
Solicitor general Tushar Mehta then assured the court that there will be no construction, demolition or felling of trees. Only foundation stone will be laid, he added.
Following the assurance, the court ruled, “This matter was listed in view of certain developments. The Solicitor General states that there will be no construction activity of any nature on the concerned sites, nor any demolition, including further translocation of trees until pronouncement of judgment in all the cases.”
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