The new Indian parliament building, seat to the world’s biggest democracy will be built by Tata, one of the nation’s biggest conglomerates after the company won the ambitious government gig.
The announcement comes after the honorable Lok Sabha (the people’s house) speaker Om Birla confirmed the plan for a new building in January.
He said the parliament will hold its 2022 session in the new building, the year which is India’s 75th Independence day anniversary.
The new parliament building, part of the $2.X billion budget to overhaul the colonial-era government buildings in the national capital, will take $117 million ( ₹ 861.90 crores) to construct, the BBC reported.
The new parliament will be a triangle-shaped building, featuring more space, thanks to the growing number of MLAs and parliamentary staff over the years.
Critics point out that the nation must spend the money to handle the pandemic which shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. India is also the world’s second-biggest hotspot for COVID-19.
It must be noted, however, the demand for a new parliament building is not new. Decades ago a parliamentary speaker pitched for a new building citing the same cause as of today – showing signs of ‘overuse and distress.’
More recently in 2015, the Vice President and Chairman of Rajya Sabha Venkaiah Naidu proposed a plan for a new building for the parliament to PM Narendra Modi.
Critics have also pointed out the massive $117m (£90m) budget of the building, and the aesthetic which is supposed to be a three-storied triangular-shaped complex.
The present building, designed by British architect Herbert Baker features tones of colonial-era architecture with a large dome in the middle and lines of thick pillars (144) adorning the circular exterior.
The current building was finished in 1927 and in the 1950s two more stories were added to the same in demand for more space. According to news agency PTI, the new building will reportedly feature a seating arrangement for 1,400 MPs.
Embroiled in controversy
The premise of a new parliament building for India is broiled with controversy, ever since it was built. Sometimes it was criticized for its design (critics say it was mocked) and sometimes over the need for a more spacious one.
A prominent British socialite and political figure Philip Sassoon said it “looks like a gasometer – which it is!” Another critic, this time an author named Robert Byron found the complex more like a Spanish bullring.
At the time of its construction, the building was meant to house the Imperative Legislative Council of the British Raj.