At a meeting of the general purposes committee chaired by Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla last week, several Members of Parliament have reportedly expressed their displeasure over the design of the proposed structure of the new Parliament. Some have even compared the proposed structure to a 7-Star Hotel. According to them, the proposed structure does not evoke the sense of grandeur and iconic nature of the institution of Parliament.
The cost of the project has not been made public yet which was the subject matter of discussion for some Members. Some have raised concerns over the choice of construction material and insisted on using the local materials.
According to HPC Design’s presentation to MPs, the new design involves two main structures with the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha housed in a triangle shaped complex. Joint sittings will be held in the Lok Sabha, which will have the capacity to seat about 1,400 people. As per the proposed plan the Central Hall will be retained in the current building and would have no equivalent in the new parliament building.
Ahmedabad based Hasmukh Patel’s firm, HCP Design, Planning & Management Pvt. Ltd. (HDPMPL), has won the contract for development of the Master Plan of Central Vista area and design of buildings as per new requirements. The Govt. has set stringent timelines to complete the development/redevelopment of Parliament building, Common Central Secretariat and Central Vista. While the timelines given to CPWD to complete the Central Vista project is November, 2021, the work on Parliament building is to be completed by March, 2022 and the common Central Secretariat by March 2024.
The Central Vista of New Delhi houses Rashtrapati Bhawan, Parliament House, North and South Block, India Gate, National Archives etc. All these iconic buildings were constructed before 1931, the year in which the new capital was inaugurated. The other office buildings were built on various plots subsequently to address the office requirements of Central Ministries and Departments in an unplanned manner. Parliament House building came up in 1927 and is a declared Heritage building. Its facilities and infrastructure are inadequate to meet the current demand. Therefore, the government felt the need to construct a new state-of–art Parliament building in close vicinity. This proposal may address not only the space requirement but may result into an iconic structure as a symbol of democracy.