How new Parliament building is different from the existing one | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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How new Parliament building is different from the existing one

By | Edited by Aryan Prakash
May 28, 2023 06:44 AM IST

The new Parliament building is scheduled to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will unveil the new Parliament complex on Sunday. As we eagerly await the inauguration, let us delve into the distinctive features that define the new Parliament building from the existing one which has stood for generations.

Graphic image shows the new Parliament building on the left and old one on the right. (Central Vista official website)
Graphic image shows the new Parliament building on the left and old one on the right. (Central Vista official website)

What makes it ‘new’ from the present Parliament building

The existing Parliament building, erected in 1927, was never designed to accommodate a bicameral legislature for a fully-fledged democracy, according to the government data. With the number of Lok Sabha seats fixed at 545 since the 1971 Census-based delimitation, the building's seating arrangements have become cramped and cumbersome.

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During joint sessions, the limited seating capacity exacerbates the problem. Moreover, the lack of space for movement poses a significant security risk. It is likely to increase substantially after 2026 as the freeze on total number of seats is only till 2026.

With a focus on addressing the space limitations within the legislative chambers, the government has devised a plan to expand the Lok Sabha seats to 888 and the Rajya Sabha seats to 348 in the new Parliament building. The old building can accomodate 543 seats in Lok Sabha and 250 seats in Rajya Sabha.

Unlike the circular shape of the old Parliament building, the new building takes on a triangular shape. (Central Vista govt website)
Unlike the circular shape of the old Parliament building, the new building takes on a triangular shape. (Central Vista govt website)

In addition to the two legislative chambers, the new complex will also feature a remarkable addition in the form of a centrally located ‘Constitutional Hall’.

Unlike the old Parliament House, the new one will not feature a Central Hall. Instead, the Lok Sabha Hall in the new Parliament House is being designed to easily accommodate joint sessions. It will be able to seat 1,272 people, eliminating the need to install additional chairs during joint sessions.

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The new building will also house six committee rooms equipped with state-of-the-art audio-visual systems. This is a significant improvement compared to the present structure, which has only three such rooms.

Unlike the circular shape of the old Parliament building, the new building takes on a triangular shape to optimize space utilization, covering an area of approximately 65,000 square meters.

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A significant highlight of the new Parliament building is the inclusion of the symbolic “Sengol”, which will be placed next to the Speaker's seat in the Lok Sabha. The central government said that the Sengol represents the historic “transfer of power” that occurred in 1947, when the British relinquished authority and handed over the reins of the nation to India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.

Despite the construction of the new Parliament building, the government has decided that both the old and new structures will work in conjunction to ensure smooth and efficient functioning of parliamentary operations.

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