Speaker Sumitra Mahajan’s proposal for a new Parliament building in order to meet future requirements for space could turn into a reality. The Times of India reported Friday that the BJP-led Central government is supportive of the proposal to have the new building constructed behind Vayu Bhawan on Rajpath. That would mean the complex would come up less than a kilometre away from the present building.
In December last year, the Speaker was reported to have written to the Urban Development Ministry saying the 88-year-old building is showing ‘signs of distress’ and stressing the need for a new building. One option was to build it within the existing complex and the second was to build it across the Rajpath.
In the letter, the Speaker said the number of seats in the Lok Sabha could rise “in accordance with the provisions of the explanation to clause (3) Article 81 of the Constitution”. But the present seating capacity is 550 without scope of any more expansion.
The present building that was commissioned in 1927 served limited personnel at that period of time. But over the years, activities at the Parliament complex as well as the number of personnel have increased manifold.
Press Trust of India reported that the Speaker wrote in her letter the need to have the new building technologically equipped so as to have the MPs with latest gadgets and to get Parliament totally paperless. There was also a plan to build an underground tunnel to connect the existing complex with the new building. The present complex, being a heritage structure, has limitations on refurbishments or structural repairs.
(With PTI inputs)