The government has finally started scouting for a location for the new Parliament complex and the Centre’s public works body has suggested three places, not too far from the British-era structure built in 1927.
The move comes over a year after Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan wrote to Union urban development minister M Venkaiah Naidu, requesting him to look for an alternative location as the existing building was showing “signs of distress and over-utilisation”.
In her December 2015 letter to Naidu, the Speaker had said there was an “imperative need” for a new building”.
Mahajan said that over the years, the complex has run out of space to meet the requirement of staff and security personnel.
Naidu will be meeting the Speaker soon to discuss the feasibility of the locations shortlisted by the Central Public Works Department (CPWD).
All the three sites that have been identified are six acre plots, similar to the existing one where Parliament stands.
“While one of the plots is in the vicinity of the existing Parliament, the other two are located between South Block and Sena Bhawan,” said a government official privy to the development.
However, urban development ministry officials admit that finalising a location to build the new Parliament will take time.
“It will require deliberations with all stakeholders. We have to have a consensus,” Naidu told HT.
Naidu was to meet the Speaker to discuss the matter last week but the meeting got rescheduled.
Apart from space crunch, the 90-year-old building has not got the mandatory safety clearance from the Delhi fire department for at least a decade because of encroachment and illegal construction.
Following two minor fire incidents in 2015, the fire department refused to issue a safety certificate to the heritage structure on the grounds that there were several prohibited structures blocking the emergency exits.