New Parliament Building | Parliament of India

India has a Magnificent Parliament!

The power of the Indian democratic system manifests in our Parliament, which weathered the Indian freedom struggle from colonial rule and witnessed many historical milestones. The existing building served as independent India’s first Parliament and witnessed the adoption of the Constitution of India. Thus, conserving and rejuvenating the rich heritage of the Parliament Building is a matter of national importance. An icon of India’s democratic spirit, the Parliament Building sits at the heart of Central Vista. India’s present Parliament House is a colonial-era building designed by British architects Sir Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker, which took six years to construct (1921-1927). Originally called the Council House, the building housed the Imperial Legislative Council. The Parliament Building witnessed the addition of two floors in 1956 to address the demand for more space. In 2006, the Parliament Museum was added to showcase the 2,500 years of rich democratic heritage of India. The building had to be modified to a large extent to suit the purpose of a modern Parliament.

Parliament of India

Blueprint for the Council House

After initial deliberations about the shape of the building, a circular shape was finalized by both the architects, Herbert Baker and Sir Edwin Lutyens as that would give the feel of a colosseum design for the Council House. It is popularly believed that the unique circular shape of the Chausath Yogini temple in Morena, (Madhya Pradesh) had inspired the design of the Council House, though there are no historical proofs for this.

Herbert Baker and Sir Edwin Lutyens

Need for the New Parliament Building

The Parliament House building construction was started in 1921 and commissioned in 1927. It is almost 100 years old and a Heritage Grade-I building. Over the years, the parliamentary activities and the number of people working therein and visitors have increased manifold. There is no record or document of the original design of the building. Therefore, the new constructions and modifications have been done in an ad-hoc manner. For example, two new stories constructed in 1956 over the outer circular part of the building hid the dome of the Central Hall and changed the facade of the original building. Further, the coverings of Jaali windows have reduced the natural light in the halls of two houses of the Parliament. Therefore, it is showing signs of distress and over-utilization and is not able to meet the current requirements in terms of space, amenities, and technology.

Narrow Seating Space for MPs

The present building was never designed to accommodate a bicameral legislature for a full-fledged democracy. The number of Lok Sabha seats has remained unaltered at 545 based on the delimitation carried out on the basis of the 1971 Census. It is likely to increase substantially after 2026 as the freeze on the total number of seats is only till 2026. The seating arrangements are cramped and cumbersome, with no desks beyond the second row. The Central Hall has a seating capacity of only 440 persons. When the Joint Sessions are held, the problem of limited seats amplifies. Due to limited space for movement, it is also a huge security risk.

Narrow Seating Space for MPs

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