New Parliament building likely by 2022, says Modi

New Delhi, Aug 19 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday that a new Parliament building may be constructed by 2022 when the nation celebrates its 75th year of Independence.

He was speaking on the sidelines of the inauguration of newly-constructed duplex apartments for MPs here.

Modi inaugurated 36 duplex flats, meant for accommodation of MPs in North Avenue of central Delhi, which have been constructed by demolishing the earlier apartments constructed in 1951-52. Construction of the new flats was completed ahead of the two years' scheduled completion date.

He said that it is being felt that the Parliament House building needs to be given a facelift in terms of modern facilities to showcase its grandeur or a new building may be constructed by the time India celebrates 75 years of Independence.

The foundation stone of the new duplex flats had been laid by then Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan. Incidentally, four years ago, Mahajan had first pitched for a new building for the Indian Parliament.

In December 2015, Mahajan had written to then Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu asking him to initiate measures for construction of a new Parliament building. In her letter, she had cited that the existing building was in distress and will not be able to handle growing demands for space in the years to come.

Mahajan had argued that number of staff, security personnel, media visitors and parliamentary activities within the existing Parliament building has increased manifold ever since it was commissioned in 1927. She had suggested two sites - within the Parliament complex and across Rajpath - for construction of the new building.

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla had also talked about the need for a new Parliament building earlier this month. Addressing a press conference here on August 10, he had said that construction of a new Parliament building is being considered but a final call on the matter is yet to be taken.

The existing Parliament building had been designed by British architects Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker. Construction of the building had commenced in 1921 and completed six years later.

Before the independence of India, the building was used for Imperial Legislative Council. The building has been declared as a Heritage Grade I structure by the government.

--IANS

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