Proposal to relocate parliament shot down

August 10th, 2012 - 4:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Meira Kumar New Delhi, Aug 10 (IANS) Parliament will not shift from the iconic, British built building but steps will be taken to declutter and strengthen the heritage structure, sources said Friday.

According to the sources, the proposal to relocate parliament from the 85-year-old building, now in the heart of the capital, did not find favour with most MPs when the Heritage Committee of parliament met here Thursday.

The building’s wear and tear is a cause of concern for the Central Public Works Department (CPWD), which maintains it.

Designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and Sir Herbert Baker, who also built most of New Delhi, work on the imposing parliament building began in 1921. It got over in 1927, two decades before India became independent.

The heritage committee, formed in 2009, is headed by Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar.

According to the sources, the general consensus among MPs was on finding ways to de-clutter and strengthen the imposing building to give it a fresh lease of life.

While BJP leader L.K. Advani opposed the relocating, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal suggested that all encroachments in the building be removed.

Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath supported Bansal.

Besides the wear and tear factor, the proposal to relocate was mooted as the number of visitors has been regularly going up.

There have also been complaints about space constraints for MPs and the parliament staff.

Also, the number of MPs, 545 in the Lok Sabha and 245 in the Rajya Sabha, will have to be revised in 2026, as the current strength is based on the 1971 census.

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