New Delhi, December 9: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will participate in the bhoomi pujan and lay the foundation stone of the new parliament building on Thursday in a programme that would be attended by more than 200 guests including former Prime Ministers and former Lok Sabha Speakers and leaders of all political parties.
Modi, who goes online to participate in most of his events due to the Covid-19 pandemic, will be physically present at the function and deliver a speech.
Twelve dharma gurus of different faiths and religions will participate in prayers for the new building that will be triangular in shape with all modern facilities and more space for MPs to sit in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. The new complex would also see expansion of the parliament estate and two government offices would be razed to build offices for individual MPs – a first such facility for Indian lawmakers.
“All former Prime Ministers and former Lok Sabha Speakers have been invited. Efforts are also on to ensure all political parties also send their representatives at the function even if their top leaders are unable to attend,” said a senior Lok Sabha official.
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, custodian of the Parliament complex is in charge of all the arrangements. Apart from PM and Birla, parliamentary affairs minister Pralhad Joshi, urban affairs minister Hardeep Singh Puri, Rajya Sabha deputy chairman Harivansh Narayan Singh and other guests will be present.
The programme will start at 1 PM with the bhoomi pujan and the laying of the foundation stone. After the multi-faith prayer ceremony, Harivansh Narayan Singh will read out messages from President Ram Nath Kovind and vice president Venkaiah Naidu.
The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Centre to immediately stop all construction and ancillary activities in the historically significant Central Vista area of New Delhi where a new Parliament, Central Secretariat and union ministries’ offices are planned to be built.
The Apex court, however, allowed the government to proceed with the foundation stone laying ceremony on December 10, and procedural paperwork stating that there cannot be alterations to the site.
The deadline for completing the new Parliament complex is 2022. According to Central Public Works Department’s (CPWD) order, the construction is required to be completed strictly within the prescribed time limit of 21 months with the “highest standards of quality and workmanship”.
“The new building is an intrinsic part of the vision of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ and will be a landmark opportunity to build peoples’ Parliament for the first time after independence, one which will match the needs and aspirations of ‘New India’ in the 75th anniversary of independence in 2022,” the PMO said in a statement. (Courtesy: HT)