Narendra Modi
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone for a new Parliament building today at an event attended by leaders from different political parties, cabinet ministers, and ambassadors from different countries. PM will also hold a groundbreaking ceremony for the building, which is expected to be completed by 2022 at an estimated cost of Rs 971 crore.

The event will also be attended virtually by certain chief ministers and governors.

The event will start at 12:55 pm and the foundation stone will be laid at 1 pm, officials said, adding that at 1.30 pm there will be a ‘sarva dharma prarthana’ (inter-faith prayer).

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On that occasion, the prime minister will deliver his address at 2.15 pm.

Om Birla, Speaker of Lok Sabha, had previously said The existing temple of democracy is completing 100 years… It is a matter of pride for our countrymen that the new one will be built by our own people as a prime example of Aatmanirbhar Bharat.”

“The new building will showcase the cultural diversity of the country. Hopefully, in the 75th year of Independence (2022), Parliament session will be held in the new building,” he said.

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As it is an archaeological asset of the country, the current Parliament building will be preserved, Birla said.

A British-era structure designed by Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker, who were responsible for planning and building New Delhi, is the existing building.

On February 12, 1921, the foundation stone of the present Parliament House was laid and the construction took six years and cost Rs 83 lakh at that time. The opening ceremony was conducted by the then Governor-General of India, Lord Irwin, on January 18, 1927.

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The new building will be 64,500 square metres in size.

The new building will also have a grand Constitution Hall to showcase the democratic heritage of India, a parliamentary members’ lounge, a library, several committee rooms, dining areas, and ample parking space.

In the new building, the seating capacity of the Lok Sabha chamber will be 888, while Rajya Sabha will have 384 seats for members. During joint sessions, the Lok Sabha chamber will have the option of increasing its sitting capacity to 1.224 members.

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This has been done with the future rise in the number of members for the two houses in mind. Lok Sabha has a sanctioned strength of 543 members at present, and Rajya Sabha has 245.

Tata Projects Limited won the bid to build the new Parliament building in September this year. Under the Central Vista redevelopment project, the new building will be constructed close to the existing one.

The current Parliament House building will be properly retrofitted to provide more functional space for parliamentary events and to ensure its use along with the new building.

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The existing building is a massive circular building with a diameter of 560 feet. The Parliament House Estate is enclosed by an ornamental red sandstone wall or an iron barbecue with iron gates that can be closed when occasional demands are made. There are twelve gates in the building.