The Union urban development (UD) ministry is looking into the suggestion given by Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan to UD minister M Venkaiah Naidu to consider constructing a new Parliament building as the existing 88-year-old structure is becoming inadequate to meet the growing demand for space.
Following Mahajan’s recent letter to Naidu in this regard, UD ministry officials will hold meeting with the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) to discuss the feasibility of Mahajan’s proposal. “We will send our opinion to the Lok Sabha speaker soon,” said a ministry source.
Mahajan’s suggestions for a new Parliament building, however, failed to find much support from former Speakers and Opposition parties. In a TV interview, two former speakers, P A Sangma and Somnath Chatterjee said there is no need for a new building for parliament. Chatterjee maintained he never felt shortage of space during his tenure as Speaker.
JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav, however, reacted sharply, and said that a new parliament building would amount to “destroying a historical monument and historical temple of democracy”.
“I oppose the move of re-construction of a new building of Parliament House. It will be like destroying a historical monument and historical temple of democracy. If there is a dearth of space in accommodating the secretariat, an additional structure can be created as has been done for Parliament House Annexe,” he said.
During the UPA regime too, a proposal to create a new building was mooted by the then Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, but finally, it lost momentum.