Additions made over the years to the old Parliament buildingwill be removed even as offices will continue to function from the building after the new Parliament, inaugurated on Sunday by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, starts functioning, according to officials associated with the project.
On Tuesday, workers were seen putting finishing touches on the project. According to two sources associated with the project, the new building will take about a month more to be completed, likely in time for the Monsoon Session, which gets under way in July.
One source said “ad hoc additions” to the old building would be removed and it would be “restored”. This, the source said, will allow the building, which had become congested over the years, to “breathe”.
The old and new buildings would work as one complex, another source said. A Lok Sabha official said the offices would continue to function from the old building. Asked how Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha chambers in the old building will be used in future, HCP Design, Planning and Management Pvt. Ltd, the Central Public Works Department’s (CPWD) consultant for the project, said the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs is best placed to answer that. A ministry spokesperson did not respond to a request for a comment.
Construction of the new Parliament building began in January 2021, as a part of the larger Central Vista redevelopment masterplan drawn up by HCP for CPWD. Asked about the challenges faced during construction, HCP stated in a written response that the project started in January 2021, instead of September 2020, as was scheduled, due to various reasons, including an SC stay.
“For a project on a tight 2-year deadline, this was a significant loss of time,” the firm stated. “The second wave of Covid-19 hit New Delhi soon after construction started (March to June 2021). This caused a severe slowdown in the planned construction schedules.”Read | History of the first legislative office, from a room to an institution
The triangular plot where the building was constructed next to the heritage Parliament House did not leave much space for movement of materials. This challenge was overcome with the help of Delhi Traffic Police, HCP stated.Advertisement
In the written response, the consultant stated: “The new Parliament building is located on a plot that used to house parking and service infrastructure for the old Sansad Bhavan. This infrastructure included an electric substation, an HVAC plant, and the primary underground water tank for Sansad Bhavan. The overground structures have been temporarily relocated within the same plot. The construction had to be carefully planned in a way that these structures continued to serve their functions without interruptions.”Most Read 1 Gadar 2 box office collection day 4: Sunny Deol film records biggest Monday collections of all time, nets a total of Rs 173 cr 2 Bigg Boss OTT 2 Finale Live Updates: Elvish Yadav wins Salman Khan’s show, Abhishek Malhan shares message from hospital 3 Happy Independence Day 2023: Wishes Images, Whatsapp Messages, Status, Quotes, and Photos 4 OMG 2 box office collection day 4: Pankaj Tripathi-Akshay Kumar film delivers better Monday than opening Friday, earns Rs 55.1 cr 5 Jailer box office collection Day 5: Rajinikanth film set to cross Rs 350-crore mark worldwide on Independence Day
Eventually, it stated, the new structures “absorbed these services for both buildings”.
Another challenge was to preserve trees, HCP said. “There were several majestic trees on periphery of the plot where the new building has been constructed. To preserve those, parts of the utility buildings were constructed with special foundations — vertical excavation was done so the root bowls of trees is not disturbed.
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Work on building the old Parliament building went on between 1921 and 1927, and two floors were later added in 1956 to cater to the growing needs. “The building had to be modified to a large extent to suit the purpose of a modern Parliament,” according to the government’s official Central Vista website.© The Indian Express (P) Ltd