As many as 120 office spaces, “open-to-all” public galleries with museum-grade features, six entrances — these are among a few upgrades in the new Parliament complex, construction for which will begin in December. Tata Projects has been awarded the contract to construct the new Parliament building which is expected to be completed by 2022, in time for India’s 75th Independence Day celebrations.
According to officials of HCP Design, Planning and Management Pvt Ltd, which has won the contract to redesign the Central Vista, the new Parliament will have four floors — lower ground, upper ground, first and second floors — and will also have a reading room for MPs.
HCP officials said they are yet to take a final call on distribution of offices between the two buildings but added that a few important ones — committee rooms; major offices of the ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, Lok Sabha Secretariat, Rajya Sabha secretariat; offices of the Prime Minister, some MPs; and offices for staff and security personnel — will be housed in the new Parliament.
Some of the offices that will remain in the present building are additional offices of the ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, Lok Sabha Secretariat, Rajya Sabha Secretariat; air and railway booking offices; and estate management offices. “The galleries and the Constitution Hall will be converted into ‘open-to-all’ museum-grade galleries with exhibits showcasing India’s heritage. Curation for the public galleries has not begun yet,” said an HCP official.
As per HCP’s design, the new Parliament building will have six entrances: a ceremonial entrance for the President and Prime Minister; one for the Speaker of the Lok Sabha, Chairperson of the Rajya Sabha, and MPs; a ceremonial entrance in general; another entrance for MPs; and two public entrances.
The maximum capacity of the new Lok Sabha hall will be 1,272 seats for joint sessions. It will come up in an area of 3,015 sqm as against the present 1,145 sqm and 888 seats allocated. The Rajya Sabha will have an area of 3,220 sqm, as against the current 1,232 sqm in the old building. It will have 384 seats more than the present 245.
The HCP official said MPs will be seated in two-seater benches, which will accommodate three in case of joint sessions, in a horseshoe pattern in front of the Speaker. The seats will be 60 cm wide and 40 cm tall, bigger than the present 45-cm width and 40-cm height seats.
The official added that provisions will be made in the furniture for smart displays, biometrics for ease of voting, digital language interpretation or translation systems, and recording infrastructure to produce real-time metadata and programmable microphones. Interiors of the halls will be fitted with virtual sound simulations to set the right levels of reverberation sound and limit the echo.