Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath has reportedly written to the Ministry of Finance for additional funds so that the cramped Parliament House building could be expanded at the earliest.
The Standing Committee on Urban Development,in its latest report on Demands for Grants for fiscal year 2013-14,mentions that the precincts of the Parliament House has a congestion problem,primarily due to increasing number of offices opening up along its staircases,corridors and passageways. The Committee,chaired by Janta Dal(U) leader Sharad Yadav,reports that the work of extension to Parliament House Annexe building at Parliament House Complex,amounting to Rs 261.86 crore,has been stopped because of scarcity of adequate funds. Funds have been sanctioned for full completion of the work. This slow work in the Parliament House Annexe reflects very badly on the performance of all departments, it reports.
The Central Public Works Department (CPWD),which is responsible for maintaining the heritage structure and constructing the Annexe building,had recently floated tenders,asking private consultants,architects and experts to come out with a plan on the best way to conserve the building.
The clutter inside the building has to be removed and the air-conditioning ducts have to be taken care of. It was originally designed for 180 members,but now we have much more strength inside that includes the support staff. Also,there are a lot of temporary structures inside which add to the weight of the building, said the official. The new building will house standing committee offices of every ministry.
The MoUD had deman-ded Rs 121 crore to maintain the structure,but after deliberations with the Ministry of Finance,it was brought down to Rs 73 crore.
The Committee is anguished to note that the MoUD had scaled down its demand from Rs 121 crore to Rs 73 crore. The Committee also feels that even Rs 73 crore will not meet the requirement of the work. The Committeestrongly recommends the provision of adequate budgetary allocation for the completion of the Annexe buildings expansion at the earliest so as to ensure the work does not stop and is completed within a given timeframe, the report said.