New annexe to help clear congested Parliament House

The Parliament House has a congestion problem,primarily due to the increasing number of offices opening up along its staircases,corridors and passageways.

New Delhi | Published: April 1, 2013 1:06:38 am

The Parliament House has a congestion problem,primarily due to the increasing number of offices opening up along its staircases,corridors and passageways. To decongest the Parliament House,a new annexe — an extension of the old one — is under construction in the Parliament complex.

The Parliament House building has been declared heritage building grade-I,which means that no new construction,addition or alteration in the structure (temporary or permanent) is allowed without approval of the standing technical committee.

“The new buildings are expected to lessen the load on the Parliament House,which is in need of proper conservation. We are preparing a proper conservation plan for the building. A heritage cell will be created to look into the day-to-day maintenance of the building,” a Central Public Works Department (CPWD) official said.

The super-structure of the new annexe is expected to be completed by August,according to CPWD officials. The new building will house standing committee offices of every ministry. These offices will be functional from mid-2014,officials said.

“The new annexe will have two blocks. The two-storey Block-A will have two basements for parking and will house facilities such as an auditorium,a conference room and VIP rooms,apart from standing committee offices. It will also have a terrace garden. Block-B will be a six-storey semi-circular building that will have other offices. The basement of this building will have air-conditioning,” an official said.

According to sources,the Lok Sabha Secretariat office has been sending notices since October 2011,asking for vacation of temporary cabins in corridors and staircases in Parliament House and that their possession be handed over to the Secretariat. “Such structures need to be dismantled according to the directions of the committee on maintenance of heritage character and development of Parliament House Complex. But till date,there has been no progress in this matter,” a source said.

After an inspection of the Parliament House,the Delhi Fire Service had pointed out that staircases and corridors should remain clear to ensure smooth and speedy evacuation and recommended that the obstructions be removed. “Several staircases have been blocked due to erection of cabins for personal staff of various ministers. The Lok Sabha Secretariat has been sending reminders every month,” the source said.

An office circular dated November 2012 says: “Officers and party offices have placed almirahs in corridors and staircases outside their rooms in the Parliament House. They have also stacked up newspapers,which is a fire hazard.”

Delhi Fire Service is yet to issue fire safety clearance to Parliament House,which is mandatory for every public building. “We have not yet issued the no-objection certificate for Parliament House,” Delhi fire chief A K Sharma said.

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