New Delhi: There has been a lot of debate and controversy over the new Parliament building, which is being constructed under the Central Vista redevelopment plan at a cost of around Rs 20,000 crore. Especially during the peaks of COVID-19 first and second waves, when many in the country felt that the project should have been shelved temporarily and the funds diverted to COVID management.
The Centre went ahead with the construction, with the new Parliament building expected to be ready by October 2022.
Now, Union Housing and Urban Affairs minister Hardeep Singh Puri has said that the existing Parliament building is “unsafe” and doesn’t have the capacity to accommodate more parliamentarians.
“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,” Puri said at the India Today Conclave 2021 on Saturday.
Puri pointed out that the current building was a council house of British colonial power, which was not designed to be the Parliament, and also the increasing number of parliamentarians.
The next delimitation of parliamentary seats is due in 2026, with the 2021 census data as the base.
“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,” Puri said.