Final call on new Parliament building soon
The government will take a final decision based on the recommendations of a top parliamentary panel on whether a lookalike of the historic circular-shaped Parliament building is to be constructed near it.delhi Updated: Jul 31, 2012 00:16 IST
The government will take a final decision based on the recommendations of a top parliamentary panel on whether a lookalike of the historic circular-shaped Parliament building is to be constructed near it.
After consulting Rajya Sabha chairman Hamid Ansari, Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar will name a high-powered committee (HPC) which will decide whether to accept either of the two sites offered by the Central Public Works Department.
To construct a mirror-image of the 85-year-old architectural marvel, the CPWD has suggested a plot on Vijay Chowk, towards its southern end, currently being used for temporary army barracks.
It has also suggested an alternative site at the Gurdwara Rakabganj Road, which has old government flats on it.
“The CPWD has informed us that the repair and refurbishment work in the Parliament building can only be completed if it is handed over to it for two years,” said Lok Sabha secretary general TK Viswanathan.
If the CPWD suggestion is accepted, it would mean that the building would have to be shut for at least two years.
“The HPC should be in place during the monsoon session beginning next week. It will give its recommendations to the speaker. She will take it up with the urban development ministry that owns the land,” he said.
Urban development minister Kamal Nath and parliamentary affairs minister Pawan Bansal are likely to be the key members of the panel which will also have prominent parliamentarians and leaders of opposition.
The move gathered momentum following the findings an internal Lok Sabha report earlier this month, which concluded that massive wear and tear in the building, coupled with lack of emergency preparedness raised serious questions over its structural stability.
Lok Sabha officials had swung into action after the speaker had commissioned a report on the safety condition of the main building following a fire at the Maharashtra secretariat in Mumbai last month.
The report said the Delhi Fire Service has declined a fire safety clearance to the building in its present condition and raised concerns over lack of preparedness for earthquake.