Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that the new Parliament building would become a witness to the creation of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ (self-reliant India) and fulfil the aspirations of 21st century India.
Speaking at the foundation-laying ceremony of new Parliament building, the Prime Minister said that inauguration of the construction work of the new Parliament House of India is one of the most important stages of our democratic tradition. “If the old Parliament House gave direction to post-independence India, the new building would become a witness to the creation of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’. If work is done to fulfil the needs of the country in the old Parliament House, then the aspirations of 21st century India will be fulfilled in the new building,” he said.
“Today is a historic day. Today is a milestone in India’s democratic history. Inauguration of the construction of Parliament House of India is one of the most important stages of our democratic tradition. We, the people of India, will together build this new building of our Parliament. And what will be beautiful from this, what will be pure from this when India celebrates 75 years of its independence, So, the inspiration of that festival should be the new building of our Parliament,” he said.
PM Modi said that the new Parliament building will increase the efficiency of Members of Parliament. “Many new things are being done in the new Parliament House, which will increase the efficiency of the MPs. Modern methods will come in its work culture,” he said.
“This is a day of pride for over 130 crore Indians when we are witnessing this historic moment. The new Parliament building is an example of the co-existence of the new and the old. This is an effort to make changes within oneself, in accordance with the time and needs,” he said.
PM Modi said that democracy of India is a system developed with the experience of centuries. “Democracy is a culture in India. Democracy is a life value, a way of life and the soul of the life of the nation for India. Democracy of India is a system developed with the experience of centuries,” he said.
Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, who was present at foundation stone laying ceremony of new Parliament building said that the Prime Minister laid the foundation of a modern, strong, prosperous and self-reliant India with the inclusion of our proud history in the last six years.
The interiors of the new building will showcase a rich blend of Indian culture and diversity of our regional arts, crafts, textiles and architecture, it said. As per the PMO, the design plan includes space for a magnificent Central Constitutional Gallery, which will be accessible to the public.
The old versus the New
The proposed four-storeyed new Parliament building would sprawl in an area of 64,500 square metres. Being constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 971 crores it will have a seating capacity for 888 Members in the Lok Sabha chamber with an option to increase to 1,224 members during joint sessions.
Similarly, the Rajya Sabha chamber would have a seating capacity for 384 Members. India’s glorious heritage too will find a place in the new Parliament building. The new Parliament building will be an intrinsic part of the vision of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ as artisans and sculptors from all over the country would contribute to and showcase India’s cultural diversity in the new building.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone of the new Parliament building on Thursday, in which Lok Sabha will be three times of its existing size and Rajya Sabha will be substantially bigger.
The new building is likely to come up by October 2022, to be completed in time to commemorate India’s 75th Independence Day.
The Parliament House, which is more than 93-years-old, has many limitations with regard to modern communication, security and earthquake safety requirements. There are also limitations to retrofitting the building. Consequently, necessary modifications cannot be made without causing damage to its structure and visage.
The construction of the extant Parliament House was done under the supervision of renowned architects, Sir Edward Lutyens and Sir Herbert Baker. The foundation stone of Parliament House was laid on 12 February 1921 by the Duke of Connaught. The opening ceremony for the building was performed on 18 January 1927 by the then Viceroy of India, Lord Irwin.
The construction of the building took six years and the cost of construction was Rs. 83 lakh. The Central Legislative Assembly met for the first time in Parliament House on 19 January 1927.
The Building has been witness to many historic occasions. The journey of the Indian legislature began here, with the establishment of the Central Legislative Assembly and Council of State in 1921. The transfer of power from Britain to India also took place within its precincts. The Constituent Assembly, that drafted the Constitution of India also met in the Central Hall of the Parliament.
Ratan Tata praises effort
Tata Trusts’ Chairman Ratan Tata on Thursday said the new Parliament building project is “impressive” and he wished it all the success.
“It is an impressive project and I wish it all success. I am privileged to be invited to the foundation stone laying ceremony,” Ratan Tata said. He was in the national capital to attend the foundation stone laying ceremony of the new Parliament building project. Notably, Tata Projects Ltd has been given the contract for the construction project of the new Parliament building.
Earlier today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for the construction of the new building and said it would become a witness to the creation of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ (self-reliant India) and fulfil the aspirations of 21st Century India.
The construction of the new Parliament building, which will have a seating capacity for 888 members in the Lok Sabha and 384 members in Rajya Sabha as against the present 543 members and 245 members respectively, was expected to begin this month.
However, the Central government has assured the Supreme Court, which is hearing a plea against the Central Vista project, that no construction will be undertaken for now. The new Parliament building is a part of the Central Vista project.
Symbol of a self-reliant
Union Home Minister Amit Shah has hailed the laying of the foundation stone of the new Parliament building here today, stating that the new Parliament house will be a symbol of a self-reliant India, which will become the locus for fulfilling the hopes and aspirations of the netizens.
In his tweets, the Union Home Minister said, “The foundation stone of the new Parliament House is a golden day in our history. I congratulate, the Prime Minister on this glorious occasion.” “Parliament House symbolizes our faith in democracy, which reminds us of the value of freedom and the struggle for it and also motivates us to serve the nation. The new Parliament House will be a symbol of a self-reliant India, which will become the locus for fulfilling the hopes and aspirations of our citizens,
“The Modi government is totally devoted and dedicated in empowering the poor and deprived sections of the country and this new Parliament House will be a witness to our commitment to this resolution.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the inauguration of the new Parliament building said that it would become a witness to the creation of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ (self-reliant India) and fulfil the aspirations of 21st century India.
Art and culture
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Thursday said that the new building of parliament will reflect the art, culture and diversity of all provinces and will be a centre of inspiration for all citizens.
The Speaker said that responsibilities of MPs have increased with the expansion of democracy there was need of a new Parliament building to fulfil their constitutional responsibilities in the future as the existing building does not provide this scope. He said members of both the Houses desired that a new building should be built which fulfils requirements of the future while reflecting the diversity of the country.
He said keeping in view of the sentiments expressed by the MPs and the two Houses, the Prime Minister approved the construction of a new Parliament building and the auspicious day has arrived when the bhoomi pujan and the foundation-laying ceremony is being done.
Congress misses the ceremony
A day after the Congress boycotted the foundation stone laying ceremony of the new Parliament building and questioned the timing of the event, Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi accused the party of continuing the legacy of British in India. After the ceremony on Thursday, he said that the Parliament House, which was built around 100 years ago, is lacking in space in terms of representation vis-a-vis population.
“It has issues as far as space and modern technology is concerned. That’s why it was decided to build a new Parliament building. We hope to conduct the winter session in 2022 in the new building,” Joshi told ANI.
He added, “The Congress wants to continue with the British legacy. Like earlier, they used to table the annual Budget at 5 pm because the British used to do it.”
On the absence of the opposition leaders, Joshi denied commenting further saying, “We invited them. I talked to the opposition parties.”