Race against time to complete new parliament building by March 2023

New Delhi: It is a race against time to complete the new Parliament building, with the government keen to open the new building in the upcoming budget session that begins in January and goes on till March with a break in between.

Part of the government’s ambitious ₹13,500-crore Central Vista redevelopment project, an ambitious target could be to shift to the new building in the first half of the budget session in February, senior government officials directly involved in the project said on condition of anonymity. Is. But that it may be possible to shift to a fully functional new Parliament building for the second half of the budget session.

The original deadline for the completion of the new Parliament building – the ongoing winter session of Parliament was to be held in the new building – was missed, but efforts are being made to complete it by the end of January, before the budget session begins. said one of the familiar officials.

Another, senior parliament official said: “During our talks, we told the agencies involved in the construction that the building should be ready by early 2023. But we are yet to get any assurance from them.”

The project is being directly monitored by Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Puri.

HT reached out to Puri for comment, but it was not immediately available.

The Central Public Works Department (CPWD), the nodal agency working for the new Parliament House and the Central Vista redevelopment project. CPWD is the nodal agency and Tata Projects Limited is constructing the new building.

According to two senior officials of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, the work on the lower ground floor and the ground floor (where the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha and MPs’ lounges will be located) is nearing completion. “In the new Lok Sabha, the carpet work is over and furniture is being installed. Carpeting work is going on in Rajya Sabha. The ground and lower ground floor work will be completed by January.

The work on the first and second floor (which will house the offices) of the four-storey new Parliament House will take time. “It is a big project and in such a short span of time the building is almost ready. Although the construction work was to start in September 2020, we could start work only in January 2021. It took a long time to transfer the utilities. It was not an easy task to carry out the construction work considering all the constraints,” said another.

He refers to the COVID-19 pandemic, which affected most activities across the country, and indeed, across the globe, with multiple supply chains breaking down. The Russian invasion of Ukraine earlier this year has made things worse. For example, the delivery of multimedia systems and IT network switches for the project was delayed due to the impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict on the supply chain, said another urban affairs ministry official. “We have received the order, but before installing the multimedia equipment, we have to ensure that the space is dust-free. Although it will not take much time to install, the system will have to be tested after installation, which is a time-consuming process. The process is on. As far as IT switches are concerned, we have procured a few and are trying to arrange for more, as there is a shortage of IT switches as well,’ said the first Urban Affairs Ministry official.

IT switches are multi-port computer network switches that form the backbone of any vertical’s IT infrastructure.

The construction work of the road connecting the new and old parliament buildings is underway and will be completed by January. “A portion of the road was constructed before the winter session,” said another official of the Ministry of Urban Affairs. The built-up space is 64,500 square meters and the ₹971 crore building will have additional seating for the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha. The Lok Sabha is expected to be able to accommodate at least 888 representatives. However, this exercise was to be done on the basis of the 2021 census, on which work is yet to begin.

The senior Parliament official quoted above said that the construction agencies are informally in touch with the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha secretariats. In addition to the 2023 budget – this government’s last full budget before 2024 general elections – parliament officials are keen to hold a meeting of the P20, the G20’s parliamentary arm, in the new building next year. India took over the presidency of the G20 in December.