Parliament House (India)
The Sansad Bhavan (transl. Parliament building) is the seat of the Parliament of India. At a distance of 750 meters from Rashtrapati Bhavan, it is located along Sansad Marg which crosses the Central Vista which is surrounded by the India Gate, war memorial, prime minister's office and residence, ministerial buildings and other administrative units of Indian government. It houses the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha which represent lower and upper houses respectively in India's bicameral parliament.
Parliament House, seen from Rajpath
|Former names||House of Parliament|
|Alternative names||Parliament Building|
|Architectural style||Lutyens' Delhi|
|Address||Sansad Marg, New Delhi, India|
|Town or city||New Delhi|
|Owner||British India (1927-1947)|
Government of India (1950-present)
|Design and construction|
|Architect||Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker|
The existing building draws inspiration from Ekattarso Mahadeva temple and was built under British empire for its Imperial Legislative Council in 1927. Following the end of British rule in India, it was taken over by Constituent Assembly of India which was succeeded by parliament of India once Constitution of India came into force in 1950.
In 2010s, a proposal was introduced to revamp Central Vista and re-build or relocate a number of administrative buildings which initiated a program expecting completion in 2024. As India aims to expand the membership of its parliament, new parliament building is being built with a higher seating capacity of 1,350 members. The new building is expected to be functional in June 2022 while older one is planned to be turned into a museum thereafter.
Originally called the House of Parliament, it was designed by the British architects Sir Edwin Lutyens and Sir Herbert Baker in 1912-1913 as part of their wider mandate to construct a new administrative capital city for British India. Construction of the Parliament House began in 1921 and it was completed in 1927.
The opening ceremony of the Parliament House, which then housed the Imperial Legislative Council, was performed on 18 January 1927 by Lord Irwin, Viceroy of India. The third session of Central Legislative Assembly was held in this house on 19 January 1927.
Two floors were added to the structure in 1956 due to a demand for more space.
The Parliament Museum, opened in 2006, stands next to the Parliament House in the building of the Parliamentary Library.
The perimeter of the building is circular, with 144 columns on the outside. At the centre of the building is the circular Central Chamber, and surrounding this Chamber are three semicircular halls that were constructed for the sessions of the Chamber of Princes (now used as the Library Hall), the State Council (now used for the Rajya Sabha), and the Central Legislative Assembly (now used for the Lok Sabha). The building is surrounded by large gardens and the perimeter is fenced off by sandstone railings (jali).
Construction of new buildingEdit
Porposals for a new parliament building to replace the existing complex emerged in early 2010s on account of stability concerns with older structure. A committee to suggest several alternatives to the current building had been set up by then Speaker, Mira Kumar in 2012. The present building, an 85-year-old structure, suffers from inadequacy of space to house members and their staff and is thought to suffer from structural issues. The building although also needs to be protected because of its heritage.
On August 5, 2019, the Vice President and Chairman of Rajya Sabha Venkaiah Naidu proposed to PM Narendra Modi to have a new building for the Parliament. Government in 2019 launched Central Vista Redevelopment Project that included revamping Rajpath, making a new office and residence for Indian prime minister, construction of a new parliament and combining all ministerial buildings in a single central secretariat.
In January 2020, Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla announced that parliament will be holding its sessions in a new building in 2022 when country would celebrating its 75th independence day. Renovation of the central vista from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate is also underway.
The proposed Lok Sabha chamber is expected to have increased seating capacity to accommodate more members as number of MPs may increase with India's population and consequent future delimitation. The Lok Sabha may need to have 848 members by 2026. The new complex will be able to house 900 Lok Sabha MPs and 1350 members in total. According to Bimal Patel, the architect in charge of the redesign of Central Vista, the new complex is likely to have a triangular shape. It will be built next to the existing complex and will be much bigger than former one. The North and South Blocks of the Secretariat Building, which currently house ministries, will be converted into museums. The relocation of the Prime Minister's Office and other ministries will take place alongside a redesign of Rajpath. In September 2020, Tata projects won the bid to construct new parliament by July 2022.
2001 Parliament attackEdit
On 13 December 2001, the Parliament House was attacked by five Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists. In addition to all the attackers, six military personnel and one civilian were killed.
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- "Central Vista Redevelopment Project". Drishti IAS. 23 April 2020. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
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- Media related to Sansad Bhavan at Wikimedia Commons
- The Parliament Estate, Parliament of India webpage