NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday laid the foundation stone of the new Parliament building near India Gate that was attended by leaders from various political parties, cabinet ministers and ambassadors of different countries.
PM Modi also performed the ground-breaking ceremony for the building, which is expected to be completed by 2022. Priests from the Sringeri Math Karnataka did the rituals for the ‘bhoomi pujan’ at the new Parliament building site and it was followed by a ‘sarva dharma prarthana’ (inter-faith prayer).
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi, Urban Development Minister Hardeep Singh Puri and Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh also offered prayers during the ceremony.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi while addressing the nation after laying the foundation stone for a new Parliament building on the Central Vista in the national capital called it a ”historic day” for over 130 crore Indians.
“Today is a historic day as the foundation of the New Parliament building has been laid. We the people of India together will construct this new building of the Parliament,’’ the PM said.
“This is a day of pride for over 130 crore Indians when we are witnessing this historic moment. The new Parliament building is an example of the co-existence of the new and the old. This is an effort to make changes within oneself in accordance with the time and needs,” PM Modi added.
The PM recalled that he can never forget the moment in his life when he had the opportunity to come to Parliament House for the first time in 2014 as an MP. “Then before stepping into this temple of democracy, I had owed my head and saluted this temple of democracy,” PM Modi said.
”The old Parliament building gave a new direction to India after independence. The new building will be a witness to the creation of ”Aatmanirbhar Bhaarat”. In the old building, work to fulfill the necessities of the nation was done. In the new building, ambitions of India of the 21st century will be realised,” the PM said.
Hailing the Indian democracy, the PM said, “Democracy is a culture in India. Democracy is a life value, a way of life and the soul of the life of the nation for India. Democracy of India is a system developed with the experience of centuries.”
Here are some important features of the new Parliament building
The new Parliament 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.
In September this year, Tata Projects Limited won the bid to construct the new Parliament building. The new building will be constructed close to the existing one under the Central Vista redevelopment project.
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.