Parliament House may find new home

Parliament House may find new home

Parliament House may find new home

The Parliament House, the iconic symbol of democracy in India, may shift to a new premises in the national capital.

Plans are afoot to examine proposal for a new abode for housing one of the pillars of democracy.

It is being said that the 85-year-old structure cannot bear the increased footfalls and has become unsafe.

Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, who has been deliberating about the safety of the building, is likely to constitute a High Powered Committee (HPC) to suggest the alternative complex to house the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.

The issue of the site, the size and the structure of the alternative complex would be decided by the HPC which will soon be set up by Speaker Meira Kumar, Lok Sabha Secretary General T K Viswanathan said.

However, the committee will have a daunting task to find the sprawling space needed to house huge building which will accommodate, both the Houses as well as Central Hall and other amenities keeping in the mind of growing need. The Lok Sabha Secretariat has approached the Central Building Research Institute, Roorkie, to undertake a study of the building.

The secretariat has also approached the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) seeking measures to be taken in the event of a quake.  Worried over the safety of the building after the recent fire at Maharashtra government secretariat, the Speaker directed the Lok Sabha secretariat to take immediate steps to ensure the safety of the building.

During a recent inspection, the Delhi Fire Service found several unauthorised constructions as well as unused old furniture and books dumped in many places blocking fire exits. 

After a recent inspection, CPWD officials expressed fears that eight-decade old building may face severe structural damage unless some of the construction activities to install air conditions, electrical wires, and others amenities, were stopped.

CPWD Director-General S K Mittal on Thursday said the safety of the building was not in question, although it needs renovation as loosening of small ceiling tiles was feared. Another official said they had to put nets on the ceiling of Parliament to ensure that small tiles and pieces of the crust do not fall down.

The Parliament House is a Grade I heritage structure, designed by Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker. It has to be conserved in accordance with certain guidelines and its specifications cannot be altered. Kumar has already set up a Joint Committee on Maintenance of Heritage Character and Development of Parliament House Complex.

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