Prime Minister Narendra Modi will perform the ground-breaking ceremony for new parliament building next week on December 10. Lok Sabha speaker Om Prakash Birla met the Prime Minister this afternoon at his residence to officially invite him, officials said.
The new building – said to be designed as a triangle – will be constructed close to the existing complex, say officials. It will be constructed by Tata Projects Limited at a cost of Rs 861.90 crore, officials said in September, adding that it is likely to be completed in a year’s time.
Larsen and Toubro, which had submitted a bid of Rs 865 crore, had lost the bid to the Tatas for the building to be constructed at “Plot Number 118” of the Parliament House Estate. The Central Public Works Department had estimated a cost of Rs 940 crore.
Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, NCP’s Supriya Sule had accused the government of misplaced priorities over the timing of the construction of the building as India continues to fight the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The new building will 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, news agency PTI reported.
The building will also be earthquake resistant and will provide 2,000 people direct employment in construction, PTI reported quoting Om Birla. 9,000 others will also get indirect employment, Mr Birla said. The new building will be able to house over 1,200 MPs, he said.
The current building is a British-era building, designed by Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker who were responsible for planning and construction of New Delhi. The building is circular and is one of India’s most acclaimed monuments; it faces a statue of Mahatma Gandhi.
Earlier this year, the government had justified its decision to build a new parliament building saying the current structure was “showing signs of distress and over-use”.
In January, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla had said that in 2022, when the country celebrates 75 years of Independence, sessions would be held in the new building.