Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the newly-constructed Parliament building on May 28 coinciding with the 140th birth anniversary of Hindutva ideologue Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, popularly known as Veer Savarkar.
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla met Modi on Thursday and extended an invitation to inaugurate the new building, the Lok Sabha Secretariat said. The new Parliament building can comfortably seat 888 members in the Lok Sabha chamber and 300 in the Rajya Sabha chamber, it said. In case of a joint sitting of both the Houses, a total of 1,280 members can be accommodated in the Lok Sabha chamber.
Watch | Images: Modi pays a surprise visit to new Parliament building
PM @narendramodi to dedicate the newly constructed Parliament building to the Nation on May 28
Construction of the New Parliament Building is complete now and the new building symbolises the spirit of self –reliant India (Aatmanirbhar Bharat)@PMOIndia pic.twitter.com/am6EuJg4c0
— DD News (@DDNewslive) May 19, 2023
The prime minister had laid the foundation stone of the new parliament building on December 10, 2020. The new building has been built in record time with quality construction, the Lok Sabha Secretariat said.
The new building, constructed by Tata Projects Ltd, will have a grand constitution hall to showcase India’s democratic heritage, a lounge for MPs, a library, multiple committee rooms, dining areas and ample parking space.
The triangular-shaped four-storey building has a built-up area of 64,500 square metres. The building has three main gates — Gyan Dwar, Shakti Dwar, and Karma Dwar. It will have separate entrances for VIPs, MPs, and visitors.
Personal vanity project: Congress
Meanwhile, the Congress took a swipe at the prime minister over the new Parliament building, calling it a “personal vanity project”.
The sole architect, designer and worker for the new Parliament building, which he will inaugurate on May 28th. The picture tells it all—personal vanity project. pic.twitter.com/6eRtP9Vbhq
— Jairam Ramesh (@Jairam_Ramesh) May 18, 2023
Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh posted on Twitter a picture of Modi while inspecting the construction of the building and said, “The sole architect, designer and worker for the new Parliament building, which he will inaugurate on May 28th. The picture tells it all – personal vanity project.”
Congress MP Manish Tewari also hit out at the Union government over the issue, wondering “do we need a new Parliament building or a Parliament that functions”. “From 1952-71, Parliament met for a record 120 days a year. Today it is less than 60. Even on days it meets disruption is the norm and functioning an exception with Treasury benches leading the disruption now,” he tweeted.
Do we need a NEW Parliament building or a Parliament that functions?
From 1952-71 Parliament met for around 120 days a year .
Today it is less than 60.
Even on days it meets disruption is the norm and functioning an exception with Treasury benches leading the disruption now. https://t.co/Y51iXmdJ53
— Manish Tewari (@ManishTewari) May 19, 2023
About the existing building
The present Parliament building was completed in 1927, and is now 96-years-old. Over the years, the old building was found to be inadequate for present day requirements. Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha had passed resolutions urging the government to construct a new building for Parliament.
Also read: New parliament building will have gallery in honour of construction workers, says PM
The existing building served as independent India’s first Parliament and witnessed the adoption of the Constitution. Originally called the Council House, the building housed the Imperial Legislative Council. The Parliament building witnessed the addition of two floors in 1956 to address the demand for more space.
In 2006, the Parliament Museum was added to showcase the 2,500 years of rich democratic heritage of India. Officials said the present building was never designed to accommodate a bicameral legislature and the seating arrangements were cramped and cumbersome, with no desks beyond the second row.
The Central Hall has seating capacity only for 440 people and the need for more space was acutely felt during joint sittings of both the houses.
(With Agency inputs)