The 81-year-old Parliament House building is showing severe signs of dilapidation thanks to poor maintenance.
Huge chunks of concrete and bricks fell off the ceiling of petroleum minister Murli Deora’s office in room number 37 and an immediate survey of the place by Rajya Sabha deputy chairman K Rahman Khan found that just above the room wash area of a canteen had caused water-logging, possibly weakening the structure.
A ceiling fan was mangled and furniture destroyed but nobody was injured in the accident on June 30.
Khan convened a meeting of senior officials and ordered immediate steps to ensure the safety of the structure.
The meeting also concluded “running a canteen in the building was a potential threat to the safety of the structure because it might cause fire and the gas cylinders kept out in the open might cause problem due to hot sun rays falling on them.” A proposal has also been mooted to shift the canteen.
The CPWD is responsible for the building maintenance.
After the inspection, Khan noted: “I saw an oil pond….foul smell was emanating... it is a matter of grave concern and carelessness that in the Parliament House, a heritage building, this kind of incident was allowed...”
Sir Edwin Lutyens and Sir Herbert Baker designed the building in early 1920s and the construction was done over six years. The building was inaugurated in 1927.
It’s a circular four-storied structure on the outside, which has offices of ministers and other officials and three domed chambers inside – for the Lok Sabha, the Rajya Sabha and a Central Hall for combined sessions of the two Houses.
The outer structure also has committee rooms and offices of political parties.