Government backs Sumitra Mahajan’s proposal for new Parliament building across Rajpath
The Central government has backed Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan’s proposal to have a new Parliament building.
Responding to the Lok Sabha Secretariat, the Ministry of Urban Development is believed to have suggested that the new building behind Vayu Bhawan, as proposed by the Speaker, can be connected to the existing Parliament complex through a tunnel across the majestic Rajpath.
Mahajan had late last year cited the difficulties she faces in providing adequate facilities to members as one of the reasons for her proposal to have a new Parliament building. She had said that in the coming days, the strength of the Lok Sabha could increase after a fresh delimitation and the present structure will find it difficult to accommodate more people.
She had asked Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu to consider initiating action for construction of a new Parliament building and suggested two options for the alternative site, one within the Parliament complex itself and another across the Rajpath.
Since the present structure is a heritage building and not many changes can be made, the second option will provide more space and allow freedom in terms of choosing a design for the new building, she had said.
She had also mentioned that in an effort to make Parliament paper-free, she wants members to access the House documents online inside the Lok Sabha chambers. But there is no space to put computers.
According to a report in Time of India, the Ministry said the decision on the ‘crucial project’ will have to be taken at the highest level in the government.
“Building a new complex would take at least five to six years,” officials were quoted as saying in the report.
Originally called the House of Parliament, the present Parliament was designed by the British architect Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker in 1912-1913 and construction began in 1921. The opening ceremony of the Parliament, then called the Central Legislative Assembly, was performed on 18 January 1927 by Lord Irwin, the then Viceroy of India.