New Parliament House, New Delhi
The Parliament House, commonly known as Sansad Bhavan in New Delhi, is the Parliament of India seat. It consists of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, the lower and upper houses in India’s bicameral Parliament.
On the morning of the 28th of May, Indians saw the inauguration of the New Parliament House, which was constructed in New Delhi, as part of India’s Central Vista Redevelopment Project. The inauguration was presided over by the Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The groundbreaking ceremony for the new building was held in October 2020. The foundation stone was laid on December 10th, 2020.
The new building is located on the Sansad Marg, 750 meters from the Rashtrapati Bhavan. It is surrounded by the Vijay Chowk, India Gate, National War Memorial, Vice President’s House, Hyderabad House, Secretariat Building, Prime Minister’s office and residence, ministerial buildings, and other administrative units of the Indian government.
What is Central Vista Redevelopment Project?
Central Vista is a 3.2 km stretch near Raisani Hill, New Delhi that houses Rashtrapati Bhavan, Parliament Building, North and South Block, India Gate, National Archives, etc. Central Vista is the administrative capital of India and a popular tourist destination for locals and foreigners.
The Central Vista Redevelopment Project, an initiative under ‘Make in India’ and ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’, refers to the ongoing redevelopment to improve Central Vista. The area was originally designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and Sir Herbert Baker during British colonial rule and was maintained by the Government of India after independence.
Scheduled between 2020 and 2026, the project in these 6 years aims to renovate the corridor between Rashtrapati Bhavan and India Gate, convert the North and South Blocks into publicly accessible museums, and build a new common central secretariat for all ministries, a new Parliament building near the current one for future expansion, a new residence and office for the Vice President and Prime Minister near the North Block and South Block, and some old buildings could be converted into museums.
Timeline of construction for the New Parliament
- The master plan for ‘Redevelopment of Central Vista Avenue’ is conceived by the Government of India, in September 2019. Simultaneously, Tata Projects Ltd. won the tender for the project.
- The foundation stone was laid on December 10th, 2020.
- Prime Minister Modi unveiled the statue of the national emblemon top of the new Parliament building on 11th July 2022.
- It was on the 18th of May, that Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birlamet Prime Minister Modi and invited him to inaugurate the New Parliament Building on 28th May 2023.
- The construction of the building was fully completed and ready to be inaugurated on 20th May 2023.
- The New Parliament Building was finally inaugurated on 28th May 2023.
Infrastructural Description of the New Parliament Building
The architect in charge of the redesign of Central Vista is Mr. Bimal Patel.
- The design of the new Parliament building takes reference from the present Parliament office building.
- The Parliament House has 3 entrances, named Gyan Dwar(knowledge gate), Shakti Dwar (power gate), and Karma Dwar (karma gate).
- The complex has a hexagonal shape with a built area of 20,866 square meters.
- The building is designed to have more than 150 years of life and is earthquake resistant.
- The architectural styles from different parts of India are incorporated into it.
- The Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha chambers have larger seating capacities to accommodate more members than the existing members.
- The new complex has 888 seats in the Lok Sabha chamber and 384 in the Rajya Sabha chamber. In case of a joint session, the Lok Sabha Chamber can have 1,272 members.
- The building has four floors with offices for ministers and committee rooms.
- The Lok Sabha Chamber at the New Building also houses a Chola Dynasty-era Sengol, a scepter presented by Lord Mountbatten, the first Governor-General of independent India, to Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister, on the eve of India’s independence.
The Grand Inauguration
Prime Minister Narendra Modi officially inaugurated India’s new Parliament building on 28th May 2023.
The ceremony was a grand upswing being telecasted all over the mass media. It started early in the morning with the unveiling of a plaque. PM Modi then delivered a speech addressing the nation and the gathering of the lawmakers, dedicating the building to the country.
The ceremony included an all-dharma (all-faith) prayer service conducted by religious leaders.
Religious leaders from Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity, Islam, Vajrayana Buddhism, Mahayana Buddhism, Jainism, Baháʼí Faith, Sikhism, and Sanatana Dharma were present and recited the prayers according to their religious rituals.
The Controversies around it!
The political parties of India got divided into two groups over the inauguration of the New Parliament Building.
- Around 20 political parties decided to boycott the function.
- About 19 political parties, including the main opposition Congress demanded the inauguration to be presided by the honorable President Droupadi Murmu, while AIMIM had a stand that Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla should have done the honors.
- Another controversy was due to the date coinciding with Vir Savarkar’s birth anniversary.
Step Ahead and Importance
The Parliament edifice is an important structure of a Democratic nation. It represents the nation’s progress, its commitment to democracy, and the strength of its political institutions. On the inauguration of the new Parliament building, the government released a short documentary on democracy in India since ancient times.
The old House of Parliament was never designed to accommodate two separate assemblies for full democracy. Expansion of Parliament’s capacity, modernization of infrastructure, and safety against earthquakes are some of the main reasons why a new Parliament building was necessary.