Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for the new building of Parliament on Thursday. The ceremony was attended by Union home minister Amit Shah, defence minister Rajnath Singh, Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, foreign envoys and Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla. The ceremony was followed by a ‘sarva dharma prarthana’ (multi-faith prayer). The Prime Minister delivered his address at 2:15 pm.
The new Parliament building will cost Rs 971 crore and is estimated to be completed by 2022. Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla said that the new building will be a prime example of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’. The current Parliament building was constructed by the British and its foundation stone was laid on February 12, 1921.
The new building will also have a grand Constitution Hall to showcase India’s democratic heritage, a lounge for members of Parliament, a library, multiple committee rooms, dining areas, and ample parking space. The Lok Sabha chamber will have a seating capacity of 888 members, while Rajya Sabha will have 384 seats, keeping in mind the future increase in the number of members for the two houses.