The estimated cost of construction of the new Parliament building is Rs 971 crore, union housing and urban affairs minister Hardeep Puri informed Parliament on Tuesday. It is an increase of Rs 82 crore from the Centre’s initial estimate.
The tender for construction of the new Parliament building is under scrutiny, while architectural plans for other buildings are under planning stage, Puri said in response to a question raised by All India Trinamool Congress(AITC) MP Mala Roy in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.
“The estimated cost for Construction of new Parliament Building is Rs 971 crore. Estimated cost of other buildings and development/ redevelopment of Central Vista Avenue shall be worked out after finalization of plans,” Puri said.
Last week, Tata Projects Limited emerged as the lowest of the two bidders for the tender to construct the new Parliament complex by quoting a bid of Rs 861.90 crore. According to the Central Public Works Department’s (CPWD) tender, the estimated cost of construction for the new building is Rs 889 crore.
In response to a question from Trinamool MP, seeking “the rationale behind the project in light of the fact that economy is in doldrums,” Puri said that the facilities and amenities of the 93-year-old existing Parliament building “are highly inadequate to meet the current demand of the Parliament.”
The Central Vista redevelopment project has come under criticism from different quarters. While the Opposition has called for suspending around Rs 20,000 crore project due to the pandemic, some conservationists have argued that it would change the historic nature of Lutyens’ Delhi.
“The existing Parliament House Building was started in 1921 and commissioned in 1927; this “building is already 93 years old and has since been declared heritage grade-I building. Its facilities and amenities are highly inadequate to meet the current demand of the Parliament. There is an acute shortage of office space and there are no individual chambers for Members of Parliament. This building was not meant for bicameral Parliament and has been over-stressed through large scale retrofitting done over the years,” Puri said.
“The other buildings on the Central Vista were built after Independence, i.e. Krishi Bhawan, Udyog Bhawan, etc. These buildings are more than 50 years old and there is a shortage of working space, parking, amenities and services in these buildings for an efficient office atmosphere… The Central Vista, which is the main boulevard of New Delhi extending from Rashtrapati Bhawan to India Gate, is one of the most visited tourist places in Delhi. However, it lacks basic public facilities, amenities and parking, etc. The unorganized vending and haphazard parking leads to congestion and gives a poor public perception. Therefore, there is a need for its upgradation of the central vista,” Puri added.
Puri said that in the current economic scenario, the project will generate a large number of direct and indirect employment.
The new Parliament building with a built-up area of approximately 60,000 metre square, is set to come up on plot number 118 of the Parliament House Estate, which currently houses a reception, boundary walls and other temporary structures. Work on the new Parliament, a ground plus two-storey triangular-shaped building, is expected to begin after the ongoing monsoon session.
According to the tender for its construction, the new building is required to be completed strictly within the prescribed time limit of 21 months.