Thursday, January 21, 2021

New Parliament construction work likely to start on Jan. 14

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Heritage Conservation Committee approved the proposal on January 11.

Construction work on new Parliament building is likely to begin on January 14, after the Supreme Court gave the go-ahead on January 5 and the Heritage Conservation Committee (HCC) approved the proposal on January 11, according to Housing and Urban Affairs (HUA) Ministry officials on January 13.

The project was scheduled to start in December last, but construction and demolition at the site was put on hold while legal challenges to the project were pending with the apex court. On December 7, the Supreme Court allowed the ground-breaking ceremony to take place after the government submitted an affidavit that it would not start construction, demolition and tree transplantation until the court gave its judgment.

With the judgment clearing the project on January 5, the Central Public Works Department moved the HCC for approval, which was granted on Monday, according to HUA Secretary Durga Shanker Mishra.

A top official said the work would start on Thursday, which happens to be the auspicious day of Makar Sakranti.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for the project on December 10, 2020. The project, the contract for which was given by the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) to Tata Projects Limited for ₹971 crore, is expected to take 22 months to complete.

The site of the construction is adjacent to the existing Parliament, which was completed in 1927. Designed by Ahmedabad-based HCP Design, Planning and Management Private Limited, the new Parliament would accommodate a larger number of MPs than the current heritage building to make room for potential increase in seats after future delimitation exercises. A total of 1,224 MPs could be accommodated in the new Lok Sabha chamber during joint sessions.

Meanwhile, work on the redevelopment of Rajpath, another part of the larger Central Vista revamp, was expected to start after the Republic Day celebrations. Mr. Mishra had said at a press conference on Monday that the work would start by February 1. According to a CPWD official, the contract was awarded to Shapoorji Pallonji and Company Limited on January 8 after its bid of ₹477.08 crore emerged as the lowest. The work would start after the requisite approvals are obtained, the official said.

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