Sanjeev Kumar Patro

Bhubaneswar: Prime Minister Narendra Modi's USP is his determination. For, Modi's grit is the wake up call to the political will.

And working determinedly towards achieving his goal of making a 'New India' by the year 2022, when this ancient country would be celebrating the platinum jubilee of the hard fought 74th year of Independence, PM Modi Thursday laid the foundation stone for the country's new Parliament building.

The design of the new edifice of democracy looks imposing and a marvellous. The new Parliament building will come up on a triangular plot. The science behind is triangular designs are considered earthquake resilient than the rectangular or square plots, says a study by the Ministry of Urban Affairs.

New Vs Old Parliament Building

While the current Lok Sabha hall has an area of 470 square metres, the new hall will come up on an area of 1315 square metres. It will have a much larger lobby. And the lower house will have a capacity of 888 seats. This is an important factor to watch out, and will be explained later.

However, the new Parliament building, including Rajya Sabha, will come up over a sprawling 64,500 sq metres area. The new Parliament complex will be ready by 2022, and will take over the mantle of popular democracy from the current 93-year old Parliament house. This massive project will be executed by Tata Projects Limited at an estimated cost of Rs 971 crore.

Special Features Of New Parliament

    • Besides the Lok Sabha (at the north west corner) and Rajya Sabha (at the south west) halls, it will house a lounge around a courtyard, and a central space called constitution gallery.
    • The Constitution gallery will be of triangular shape. It will house public galleries, where some important materials related to the parliament and the republic will be located.
    • No central hall, as existed in the current Parliament building.
    • Current Parliament house has 3 courtyards, New will have only 1.
    • Interior of new Lok Sabha will be themed on India's national bird peacock. The new house of the people will retain the traditional green colour.
    • Rajya Sabha will have 400 seats with more space for the main hall and lobbies. But official space will see slight reduction.
    • Interior of the Upper House will be themed on India's national flower 'Lotus', but with the traditional red colour intact.
    • Modern touch interfaces on the desks to reflect the IT superpower status of the country.
    • In the three-storied structure, dining facilities will be located on the first floor.
    • There will be two libraries - a main and another small one besides the lounge.
    • Architect of Central Vista project: HCP Designs, a Gujarat-based architecture based in Ahmedabad, led by architect Bimal Patel. His notable project is Sabarmati Riverfront.

Why India Need A New Parliament House?

The big clue on why the country needs a spacious parliament house is the seating capacity of the new Lok Sabha hall, which is equipped to accommodate 888 seats. The seats in the Lok Sabha are allocated on the basis of population, the tally moved with every census till 1971. Later, a temporary freeze was imposed in 1976, and another amendment in 2002, postponed it to year 2026. Experts feel this cannot be stretched beyond 2031. The representations have in proportionate with the population of a State.

As per the Election Commission rules of proportional representation, for every 10 lakh voters, there should be one MP. The seats remained at 543 due to the temporary freeze imposed in1976.

When the 2019 country-wide voter scenario is taken into account, EC data shows that there are 88 crore voters. Going by the aforementioned yardstick, the count comes at 888, which incidentally is the proposed seating capacity of the lok sabha hall in the new Parliament building.

According to an assessment by lead author Milan Vaishnav for Carnegie Endowment For International Peace, India is currently saddled with an emerging crisis of political representation. The chronic unwillingness of India’s political class to reallocate parliamentary seats in light of the country’s changing demographics has led to severe and entrenched mal-apportionment, opined Vaishnav and added that it cannot be allowed to let go for a long time.

Impact On Odisha

Going by the thumb rule of 1 MP per 10 lakh voters, Odisha prominently figures among the states with under representation. The 2019 election data puts the total voters in the State at around 3.22 crore. Each MP in the State is now representing 15.36 lakh voters. If the norm of proportional representation is followed, then the total seats for 2033 general elections in Odisha will rise to 32.

However, Uttar Pradesh, which has an electorate base totalling to over 14.16 crore, will gain the maximum. The total seats (assuming 1 MP per 10 lakh voters) will then zoom up to touch 141 from the existing 80.

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