Existing Parliament building ‘unsafe’, capacity reached upper limit, says Union minister Puri
Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri underlined that the existing building was a council house of the British colonial power and was never designed to be Parliament.
Stressing upon the need for a new Parliament building, Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Saturday said that the current one is “unsafe” and doesn’t have the capacity to accommodate more parliamentarians. During an interaction at the 'India Today Conclave 2021', Puri said the parliament building was in Seismic Zone II at the time of its construction but the area now lies in Seismic Zone IV, the high damage risk zone.
"When the building was constructed, it was in Seismic Zone II and today, that area is in Seismic Zone IV. It is not an exaggeration. We don't want to create panic, but you know you are above pushing the limit..." Puri said at the event.
The Union housing and urban affairs minister further underlined that the existing building was a council house of the British colonial power and was never designed to be Parliament. He also pointed to the increasing of parliamentarians since India’s independence. The next delimitation of parliamentary seats is due in 2026, with the 2021 census data as the base.
"The number of members (parliamentarians) has been increasing since we became an independent country. So, there have been a lot of internal adjustments and new facilities have been added...from a purely structural point of view, it is an unsafe building,” Puri said.
The Vice President’s enclave and the new Parliament House will be the first buildings to be completed under the Modi government's ambitious Central Vista redevelopment plan. The total estimated cost of the Central Vista revamp is around ₹20,000 crore. The Opposition parties have criticised the government for spending hundreds of crores on the Central Vista project in the middle of a pandemic. But Puri insisted that the construction of a new Parliament building and redevelopment of Central Vista Avenue will be completed in a time-bound manner.