Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday laid the foundation stone of a new Parliament building at an event. The groundbreaking ceremony on the news Parliament building was attended by several leaders from various political parties, cabinet ministers and ambassadors of different countries. PM performed the ‘bhoomi pujan’ for the new building, which is expected to be completed by 2022 at an estimated cost of Rs 971 crore. Pujaris from the Sringeri Math Karnataka did the rituals for the ‘bhoomi pujan’ at the new Parliament building site.
Some chief ministers and governors also attended the event virtually.
The foundation stone laying ceremony took place at 12:55 pm today and the bhoomi poojan laying ceremony at 1 pm. ‘Sarva Dharma Prarthana’ (inter-faith prayer) was performed by various religious leaders at the foundation stone laying ceremony of the new Parliament building at 1.30 pm
The existing Parliament building will be conserved as it is an archaeological asset of the country.
The existing building is a British-era structure, designed by Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker who were responsible for planning and construction of New Delhi.
The foundation stone of the existing Parliament House was laid on February 12, 1921 and the construction took six years and cost Rs 83 lakh at that time. The opening ceremony was performed on January 18, 1927 by the then Governor-General of India, Lord Irwin.
The new building will have an area of 64,500 square metres.
The new building 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 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 twelve gates.