14 June 2024

Story behind new parliament building of India

It was in 2019 when Narendra Modi was sworn in as prime minister for the second time. In the second term, the Modi government was in action mode. The priority of the government was fixed. After the law against triple divorce and the removal of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir, the government wanted to settle the old, stranded works as soon as possible.

The Prime Minister was informed that in 2012, Speaker Meera Kumar had proposed to build a new Parliament. The condition of the Parliament House is in a dilapidated condition, many of its works are pending, and the Central Vista is also incomplete. This needs to be done. On this, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “All old and national important projects should be completed as soon as possible.” Start working afresh on the new Parliament. As soon as the Prime Minister said this, the plan to redevelop about three kilometers area from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate started. It was named the Master Plan of Re-development of Central Vista Avenue and work on the detailed project began in September 2019. The plan for Central Vista was prepared after about six months. In this plan, from the new Parliament building to the Prime Minister’s residence, the Vice President’s residence and many government offices were to be built.

After detailed discussion, on April 23, 2020, the Central Vista Committee passed a proposal to create a new Parliament. The budget was fixed and from then till today, some people of the country have given their lives to stop the work of the new Parliament building. And the biggest beginning of this was the Congress. Then the Congress President Sonia Gandhi wrote a letter to the Modi government demanding to stop the construction of the new Parliament building, but the government did not listen to her. It seemed that the work of this project, which was already delayed due to Corona, would start now.

Suddenly, 177 petitions were filed in the Supreme Court against the new Parliament building. According to these petitions “The project meant for the new Parliament was wrongly approved. The venues were changed, a plan was made to cut 1000 trees, and its environmental audit was not even done before the approval of the project. Different ministries of the government approved this project in a very short time without investigation. Therefore, it should be investigated. And this should be stopped. When the hearing started in the Supreme Court, the judges were also surprised by the attitude of the government. “It was not expected that the central government would adopt such an aggressive attitude towards the construction work. After this comment of the court, it once seemed that the new Parliament would not be built, although the court also said that the government can lay the foundation stone, do the paperwork, but there will be no demolition of construction or cutting of trees.

The matter was heard again in the Supreme Court in January 2021, where a three-judge bench dismissed all the petitions filed against the construction of two new Parliament buildings. After all this, the work of laying the first brick of the new Parliament building started. After all this, the work of building a new Parliament started going on fast, but those opposing it also did not give up.

In 2021, a petition was again filed in the Delhi High Court against the new Parliament building. It was said that the risk of Corona is increasing. There is a risk of corona spreading at the construction site, so the construction work of the new Parliament should be stopped, but the Delhi High Court refused to stop the work of the new Parliament and said that the Central Vista is a project of national importance and therefore it cannot be stopped. The court also imposed a fine of Rs 1, 00,000 on the petitioner. A petition was filed in the Supreme Court against the Delhi High Court’s decision, but the matter did not happen there either. By the time the Supreme Court also dismissed the petition, the construction of Parliament was going on at a rapid pace.

But these people would have given up so easily, how could this happen? He was making every effort to ensure that the new Parliament building could not be constructed somehow. This time the Waqf Board came in the picture. The Waqf Board filed a petition in the Delhi High Court and said that its properties are being damaged in the construction of the new Parliament building and Central Vista, so it should be stopped immediately. But the court also rejected it.

It is also a historical fact that the new Parliament building was first conceived in the 1990s during the tenure of the Congress government when Shivraj Patil was the Speaker of the Lok Sabha and PV Narasimha Rao was the Prime Minister of the country. At that time, Lok Sabha Speaker Shivraj Patil had told Prime Minister Narasimha Rao that the Parliament House was getting old and there are many problems here. A new Parliament building will be required for delimitation. So, we should think about the new Parliament building. But then PV Narasimha Rao did not say anything on this. After that, during the UPA government in 2012, the issue of the new Parliament building came up again. Its historical evidence exists in the form of documents. On July 13, 2012, the then Speaker Meira Kumar wrote a letter to the Urban Development Ministry for the construction of the new Parliament.

The construction of the Old Parliament House began in 1921 and proceedings began in 1927. After completing nearly 100 years, it has now been declared a Heritage Grade One building. Due to aging and the use of Parliament House, signs of crisis have started appearing in many places for decades. But over time, this dream project of UPA started pricking in his eyes because times had changed.

However, when opponents of the new Parliament building failed to stop its construction, they started a fresh controversy. The controversy escalated when Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Ashoka Pillar at the top of the Parliament House. While several opposition parties objected to the Lion being aggressive, some objected to why the Prime Minister inaugurated it.

However, these controversies did not have any effect on the construction of the Parliament House, so a new controversy was created regarding its inauguration. The opposition wanted the new Parliament building to be inaugurated by the President. But the work of inauguration came from PM Narendra Modi. Overall, it would not be wrong to say that the construction of the new Parliament building is difficult and has been done by breaking the walls of disputes.

However, amidst all this, it is also very important to understand why the construction of the new Parliament building was needed. In fact, in 2026, there is a new delimitation of Lok Sabha seats. Article 81 of the Constitution also had a rule to delimit seats after every census according to the current population, but this has not happened after 1971.

Now that the new Parliament is ready, we should also know how different and modern the new Parliament is from the old Parliament? The old Parliament building is circular in shape, while the new Parliament is built in rectangular shape. The old Parliament building was built in 47,500 square meters, while the new Parliament building is in an area of 64,500 square meters. The Lok Sabha hall of the old building has a seating arrangement of 552 members, but the new Lok Sabha hall will have a seating capacity of 888 Lok Sabha members. The Rajya Sabha hall of the old building has a seating capacity of 245 members, but the new Rajya Sabha hall will have a seating capacity of 384 members. The new Parliament building will also have a seating capacity of 1224 members.

The foundation of the old building was laid on 12 February 1931 during the British era. It was built for ₹83,00,000. The foundation stone of the new Parliament was laid on December 10, 2020, and has been completed at a cost of around Rs 900,00,00,000. It took 6 years to build the old Parliament building, but the new Parliament was built in 2 years and 4 months. Apart from these things, there is more to the new Parliament like there was an emergency exit in the old Parliament, but there are two emergency exits in the new Parliament. The theme of the Lok Sabha Chamber of Parliament has been built on the theme of the national bird Peacock, while the Rajya Sabha Chamber has been built on the theme of the national flower lotus.

Overall, the new Parliament building is a symbol of a growing India in the 21st century, built by breaking the walls of difficulties.

Nitesh Kumar Singh

Technical content writer l Website developer

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