Govt moots new Parliament, Central Vista by 2022

Sources in the Union housing and urban affairs ministry said the Parliament House building was completed in 1927 and its facilities and infrastructure are "inadequate" to meet the current demand. (PTI File Photo)

The Modi government has floated a proposal to either to build a new Parliament building or retro-fit the existing one to include modern amenities and meet the growing needs of lawmakers.

As India celebrates 75th Independence Day, the government also plans to re-develop the iconic Central Vista — on either side of the Rajpath — and build a common secretariat to house all its offices by razing existing buildings such as the Shastri Bhavan, Rail Bhavan, Krishi Bhavan, Udyog Bhavan and Nirman Bhavan.

The ministry of housing and urban Affairs has invited design and architecture firms from across the globe for consultancy works by floating of a request for proposal (RFP) on September 2 for the "development or redevelopment of Parliament Building, Common Central Secretariat and Central Vista."

The Central Public Works Department plans to identify the firm that would draft the redevelopment plan within the next two months, the urban development ministry sources told DH.

The selected firm is expected to submit a plan to the government on either redeveloping the 92-year-old Parliament House or constructing a brand new building at an alternative location. If everything goes as planned, the monsoon session of Parliament in August 2022 could be held in the new building.

If the government decides to build a new Parliament building, the existing one would be preserved as a heritage structure.

Also, the government has no plans to redevelop the North Block and South Block buildings, designed by architect Herbert Baker, that houses the prime minister's office and ministries of defence, external affairs, finance and home affairs.

Central Secretariat is currently spread over 47 buildings in Lutyens' Delhi where 70,000 employees of the central government work. The government spends around Rs 1,000 crore every year on these buildings and a common secretariat would lead to saving a significant amount.

The new building will be constructed as per the green building plan and all will be earthquake resistant, government officials said adding that the existing buildings were more than 50 years old and had outlived their structural life.

The new central vista will boast of smart city features, including upgraded public facilities, amenities and adequate parking.

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