New and old buildings of Parliament House (Sansad Bhavan), New Delhi | Photo: Mathrubhumi/PG Unnikrishnan
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the newly-constructed Parliament building on May 28.
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla met Modi on Thursday and extended an invitation to inaugurate the new building, the Lok Sabha Secretariat said.
The new Parliament building can comfortably seat 888 members in the Lok Sabha chamber and 300 in the Rajya Sabha chamber, it said.
In case of a joint sitting of both the Houses, a total of 1,280 members can be accommodated in the Lok Sabha chamber.
The prime minister had laid the foundation stone of the new parliament building on December 10, 2020.
The new building has been built in record time with quality construction, the Lok Sabha Secretariat said.
The present Parliament building was completed in 1927, and is now 96 years old.
Over the years, the old building was found to be inadequate for present day requirements.
Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha had passed resolutions urging the government to construct a new building for Parliament.
The new building, constructed by Tata Projects Ltd, will have a grand constitution hall to showcase India's democratic heritage, a lounge for MPs, a library, multiple committee rooms, dining areas and ample parking space.
The triangular-shaped four-storey building has a built-up area of 64,500 square metres.
The building has three main gates -- Gyan Dwar, Shakti Dwar, and Karma Dwar.
It will have separate entrances for VIPs, MPs, and visitors.
The Congress took a swipe at the prime minister over the new Parliament building, calling it a "personal vanity project".
Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh posted on Twitter a picture of Modi while inspecting the construction of the building and said, "The sole architect, designer and worker for the new Parliament building, which he will inaugurate on May 28th."
"The picture tells it all - personal vanity project," Ramesh tweeted along with the picture.
The existing building served as independent India's first Parliament and witnessed the adoption of the Constitution.
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.
Officials said the present building was never designed to accommodate a bicameral legislature and the seating arrangements were cramped and cumbersome, with no desks beyond the second row.
The Central Hall has seating capacity only for 440 people and the need for more space was acutely felt during joint sittings of both the houses.