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Differences between the new Parliament building and the existing one

The shape and the design might be the most visible form of difference between the two buildings, but it is not the only one
Last Updated : 28 May 2023, 01:50 IST
Last Updated : 28 May 2023, 01:50 IST
Last Updated : 28 May 2023, 01:50 IST
Last Updated : 28 May 2023, 01:50 IST

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Lawmakers of the world’s largest democracy are set to get a new seat with the inauguration of the new Parliament building scheduled to take place on May 28. With its construction now complete, the new triangular building will replace the iconic circular-shaped 'sansad bhawan', which is around 100-years-old.

The shape and the design might be the most visible form of difference between the two buildings, but it is not the only thing that sets the two structures apart. As the difference of opinion on who should inaugurate the new building heats up the politics, here are the major differences between the to-be-inaugurated and already existing Parliaments.

Seating strength

The number of Lok Sabha seats in the country has remained stagnant at 545 since 1971. With the delimitation exercise scheduled for 2026, the number of seats in both the Houses is expected to see a significant increase. The new Parliament has been built with this in mind and its Lok Sabha capacity will be 888 seats while the Rajya Sabha will also be able to house 384 parliamentarians. The current seating strength of the Lower House is 552 and the same of the Upper House is 284.

No Central Hall

The current Parliament has a central hall, with a seating strength of 436 seats, specifically designed to hold joint sessions of the House. The central hall will be missing in the new structure as the fresh Lok Sabha hall, whose seating capacity can be extended to 1,272, will be used for joint sessions.

Modern office spaces

Built in the 1920s, the existing Parliament lacked modern facilities and even though such facilities were added with time, the additions were done in an ad-hoc manner. The new structure will be fitted with state-of-the-art modern technologies including biometrics for ease of voting, digital language interpretation or translation systems, and programmable microphones.

It will also be more accessible to people with disabilities.

More office space

At present 39 Ministries are housed in the Central Vista, whereas 12 Ministries have offices outside it due to space crunch. The new building will bring all these ministries inside the central vista complex

Better safety parameters

When the existing Parliament structure was built, New Delhi used to be in seismic zone II but now Delhi is in seismic zone IV and the new building is built with this point in mind. Also to fulfil electricity demands the current building was fitted several new electric cables had been added, posing a potential fire hazard.This has been corrected in the new structure.

Connectivity

As per the website of the Central Vista project, an Automated People Mover of approximately 3.1 km length will be constructed underground to connect and integrate all the buildings of the Common Central Secretariat. It will run in a close loop to satisfy the transportation requirement of Government employees working in these buildings. It will provide connectivity to the existing Delhi Metro Network at Udyog Bhawan and Central Secretariat Stations at Yellow and Purple lines of the metro.

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Published 25 May 2023, 11:47 IST

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