New Delhi, Jan 12: After getting Supreme Court’s nod for the Central Vista project, a 14-member heritage panel has given its approval for construction of a new Parliament building paving the way for the work to start in the next few days.
The new Parliament is slated to be constructed by August, 2022 when the country will be celebrating its 75th Independence Day.
The ambitious Rs 20,000 cr Central Vista redevelopment plan, nation’s power corridor, envisages a new triangular Parliament building, a common central secretariat and revamping of the three-km-long Rajpath, from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate.
The project also includes converting the existing North and South blocks into museums.
Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said in a presser that the construction of the new Parliament building would not affect the existing structure, which is a heritage one.
Housing and Urban Affairs Secretary Durga Shanker Mishra said the heritage conservation committee, headed by the ministry’s additional secretary, granted approval to the construction of the new Parliament building after examining and discussing the proposal.
Asked whether other proposed constructions like new Parliament would also seek heritage panel’s approval, Mishra said “that is not required.”
He further said heritage panel’s approval is meant only for new Parliament building.
Besides Additional Secretary, the panel has officers from different organisations and experts as members.
Asked further whether public hearing was mandatory before granting approval, Mishra answered, “No”.
He said said the committee’s members are the ones who look into what is provided under unified building bylaws based on which they accept or reject a proposal or suggest modifications.
Work on redevelopment of Rajpath will start soon after this year’s Republic Day parade. The work is expected to be completed in the next 10 months and the 2022 Republic Day parade will be held on a redeveloped Rajpath, Secretary said.
On January 5, the Supreme Court cleared the decks for the ambitious Central Vista Project by upholding the environmental clearance and the notification for change in land use.
In the majority verdict, the apex court said that prior permission shall be taken from heritage conservation committee and other relevant authorities before start of construction at new sites.
Last month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had laid the foundation stone of the new Parliament building where the Lok Sabha chamber will have a seating capacity for 888 members, while the Rajya Sabha will have 384 seats for members. The National Emblem will crown the new Parliament building.
The new Parliament will have six committee rooms to conduct business.
The government has identified around four locations including Gole Market, K G Marg near Africa Avenue, and near Talkatora Stadium in central Delhi for temporary shifting of offices of various ministries.