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Tuesday, Aug 20, 2019

Parliament glitters in new lighting system

Earlier, the buildings on Raisina Hill that housed the Prime Minister’s Office and key ministries such as defence, home, foreign affairs and finance, have their own set of illuminated lights. Now, Parliament building has acquired its own dynamic LED lighting system to add to the pomp of Vijay Chowk.

india Updated: Aug 15, 2019 09:22 IST
Saubhadra Chatterji
Saubhadra Chatterji
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
A view of illuminated Parliament House after Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Dynamic Facade Lighting of the Parliament House Estate, in New Delhi, India, on Tuesday, August 13, 2019.
A view of illuminated Parliament House after Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Dynamic Facade Lighting of the Parliament House Estate, in New Delhi, India, on Tuesday, August 13, 2019. (Ajay Aggarwal / HT Photo )
         

When a foreign head of state or prime minister next comes to New Delhi for a visit , India’s top three citadels of power - North Block, South Block and Parliament house - will be illuminated to represent the national flag of the guest’s home nation . The new dynamic lighting for the complex, inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday, will sync with the two other buildings for a mega light show.

Earlier, the buildings on Raisina Hill that housed the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and key ministries such as defence, home, foreign affairs and finance, have their own set of illuminated lights. Now, Parliament building has also acquired its own dynamic LED lighting system, at a cost of Rs 6.18 crore, to add to the pomp of Vijay Chowk.

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, who ensured that the massive system comprising 875 LED light fixtures was installed in the Parliament complex in just 22 days, told HT: “It was the brainchild of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He told me that Parliament should also have such lights.”

Birla added that the idea is to make the entire area more attractive to visitors, tourists and foreign dignitaries. “There is also a plan that when a head of state of a foreign Prime Minister comes to visit India, the flag of that country will be showcased through lights,” he said.

The Empire State Building in New York is lit up in a similar fashion to mark the arrival of heads of state on US soil.

For Independence Day , the Parliament complex’s new lights will reflect various aspects of Indian life -- festivals, diversity, and Parliamentary democracy -- in seven-minute cycles. These include the national flag, House debates, Deepawali, Eid, Holi, Navroz and Christmas. A quick movement of lights with dashes of golden hues will symbolise the firecrackers of Diwali; white pillars and green corridors will depict Eid; while Christmas will be showcased in red and white.

A splash of blue lights on the walls of the Parliament building, along with a rapidly moving white lights on its 274 pillars on Independence Day, will depict the just-concluded monsoon session of Parliament. Similarly, a collage of golden and silvery white lights, will portray the budget session of Parliament.

Birla said that the Parliament complex will be illuminated throughout the year. “We will celebrate important festivals such as Diwali, Holi, Eid or Christmas through collage of colourful lights,” he said.

But the new, dynamic multi-colour lighting, will be restricted to four hours in the evening to keep power bills down. According to a senior functionary, the bills of renting lights from vendors for special events in the past went up to R2.5 crore to R3 crore. “So, the cost of buying the new system will be recovered in a few years,” said an official, pointing out that While the earlier light strips were rented from Delhi-based contractors, the new system will be Lok Sabha’s own and has been fixed permanently on the building.

While the earlier light strips were rented from Delhi-based contractors, the new system will be Lok Sabha’s own and has been fixed permanently on the building.

“A meeting of the heritage committee of Parliament was called to decide how to fix the installations. As the Parliament building is more than 90 years old, there are severe restrictions in any construction-related jobs. So, we didn’t drill a hole anywhere. Many brackets, especially those on the outer walls, were fixed with wires. Some heavier lights were pasted with stones using glues which can be moved easily,” said Vikas Gupta, chief engineer of Parliament complex.

First Published: Aug 14, 2019 23:39 IST

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