Centre sends revised Parliament building plan to environment ministry
The new two-storied Parliament building is to come up on a triangular plot close to the existing Parliament. It has been designed to seat at least 1300 parliamentarians.Updated: Apr 14, 2020 05:53 IST
The Centre has submitted a revised application to the environment ministry for the new Parliament building of the Central Vista redevelopment project after an expert appraisal committee (EAC) on infrastructure deferred its environment clearance last month.
A new Parliament building with enhanced technology and a capacity to seat several hundred more parliamentarians in both the Upper and Lower houses was to be built as part of a Rs 20,000 crore redevelopment project in Lutyens’ Delhi planned out in a phased manner over the next four years. The new Parliament complex was expected to be ready by 2022.
In its application which has been reviewed by the Hindustan Times, the union ministry of housing and urban affairs’ construction arm, the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) has stated that the project cost for the new Parliament building has been increased from Rs 776 crore to Rs 922 crore instead “due to changes in specifications which have been approved after the application submission.”
The EAC is scheduled to hear the matter on April 22.
Addressing concerns raised over the project in the application stated that “there will be no adverse impact due to construction activities on existing structures and suitable precautions will be accordingly made… There are several ASI regulated archaeological sites present within the study area. However none of them will be impacted due to the project activities. Since their regulated boundaries are outside the project site.”
“Transportation of raw material will cause impacts for the short-term only. Barricading will be provided all around the construction site. Air pollution will be minimized by water sprinklers and by covering the vehicles during transport. The trucks used for transport will be thoroughly checked for emission parameters and will be properly maintained. The raw materials transport will be avoided during the peak hours to reduce traffic load,” the application stated.
The new two-storied Parliament building is to come up on a triangular plot close to the existing Parliament. It has been designed to seat at least 1300 parliamentarians. Both the Rajya and Lok Sabha have been designed to have up to date audio-visual features, improved acoustic technology, as well as better seating design to ensure efficiency and productivity while the houses are in session. The new building will also have an open to sky courtyard, meeting halls, cafeterias and MP’s offices.
The existing Parliament building which is almost 90 years old has faced deterioration over the years due to environmental conditions, and the project aimed to preserve the building by retrofitting to make it compliant to current safety standards.
The new application clarified the renovation of the existing Parliament building would include a condition survey to assess the structure, strengthen and renovate its interiors and utilities.
Hindustan Times on March 9 had reported Centre’s application seeking environmental clearance for the construction of a new Parliament complex has been deferred by the Union ministry of environment, forest and climate change (MoEFCC).
EAC had citied pending court cases related to the project as one of the reasons for deferring the application. It had also noted that the project would provide a “larger Parliament building for the nation for better functioning of the legislature” but also added that CPWD needed to meet a slew of conditions before the proposal can be reconsidered.
However, the plan could face delays due to the lockdown as the project was scheduled to be tendered in April.
This also comes at a time when nearly all opposition parties have urged the government to shelve the project and spend the money instead on advancing the fight against Covid-19.
The Centre had in March notified the land use change of over 86-acre area in Lutyens’ Delhi to expedite completion of the redevelopment project, which was to include a new Central Secretariat, and other new government office buildings on either side of the Central Vista, among other things.