Old Parliament 'unsafe'; new building, Central Vista Avenue to be completed on time: Union Minister Puri

By PTI

NEW DELHI: Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Saturday said the construction of a new Parliament building and redevelopment of the Central Vista Avenue, stretching from Rashtrapati Bhavan to the India Gate, will be completed in a time-bound manner.

Both these projects are being executed as part of the Modi government’s ambitious Central Vista redevelopment plan.

Stressing upon the need of a new Parliament building, the Union housing and urban affairs minister said that the current one is “unsafe” as when it had been constructed, it was in Seismic Zone II, but now that area lies in Seismic Zone IV.

During an interaction at the ‘India Today Conclave 2021’, Puri said that the existing building, which doesn’t have the capacity to accommodate more parliamentarians, was never designed to be Parliament and it was a council house of a colonial power.

“The number of members (parliamentarians) has been increasing since we became an Independent country. So, there have been a lot of internal adjustments and new facilities have been added. From a purely structural point of view, it is an unsafe building. 

“When the building was constructed, it was in Seismic Zone II and today, that area is in Seismic Zone IV. It is not an exaggeration. We don’t want to create panic, but you know you are above pushing the limit,” he said.

The redevelopment of the Central Vista envisages a new Parliament building, a common central secretariat, revamping of the three-km Rajpath from Rashtrapati Bhavan to the India Gate, a new Prime Minister’s residence and office, and a new Vice President’s Enclave.

Tata Projects Limited has been constructing a new Parliament building near the existing one under the Central Vista redevelopment project.

The government said that the winter session of Parliament in December next year will be held in the new building.

Shapoorji Pallonji and Co Pvt Ltd has been executing the redevelopment of Central Vista Avenue stretching from Rashtrapati Bhavan to the India Gate.

The government plans to hold the Republic Day parade on the revamped Rajpath next year.

“These two segments are actually the showcase segment (of the Central Vista redevelopment project),” he said, adding that these two projects will be completed within the time period.

Besides, the government had floated tenders for the construction of three new buildings of Common Central Secretariat on the plot where the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts is currently located Last month, four infrastructure firms — Tata Projects Limited, Uttar Pradesh Rajkiya Nirman Nigam Ltd, L&T Construction and NCC Ltd — had submitted technical bids for the project.