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How is it different from old ‘Samvidhan Sadan’?

Day 2 of the Special Session of Parliament is truly and historically special. It’s the day that MPs, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, made the shift to new Parliament building and bid adieu to well-loved circular Lutyens building.
The move to the new premises comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the building back on 28 May in a ceremony full of pomp and grandeur. It was then that the PM, dressed in traditional attire, had walked into the premises from Gate No 1 and installed the historic Sengol in the Lok Sabha chamber.
Speaking from the old premise before making the move, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said: “Today, we are taking leave from here and heading to the new parliament building. This is auspicious as today is Ganesh Chaturthi. I appeal to you, and I hope you will consider it after deliberation. Now that we are going there (the new parliament building), the glory of this house should never decline. We shouldn’t just call it the ‘old parliament’. I request, if both of you permit, that this building should be known as ‘Samvidhan Sadan’ so that it always serves as an inspiration for us. When we call it ‘Samvidhan Sadan’, the memories of those great people who once sat here in the Constituent Assembly get linked to it. We shouldn’t let go of this opportunity to offer this gift to the coming generations,” PM Modi said.
Related Articles Know PM Modi’s proposed name for old Parliament buildingDawn of Azadi ka Amrit Kaal: PM Modi addresses Lok Sabha in new Parliament buildingAfter making the walk to the new building, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla also urged on members to set a new standard of parliamentary debate by raising people’s issues, as he extended greetings of Ganesh Chaturthi, and called the move to the new parliament house a historic event.
But what does the new Parliament building offer? Why did India need a new Parliament building? Let’s take a closer look.
Need for a new Parliament building
The new Parliament building, part of the Central Vista project, will replace the existing structure – which was commissioned in 1927. The ‘Samvidhan Sadan’ building was designed in the 1920s by Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker as a ‘Council House’. The design was never suitable to accommodate a bicameral legislature – a legislature with two houses – Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.
As of today, the building can accommodate 552 members and the Central Hall can seat 436 persons. In case of joint sittings, about 200 temporary seats are added in aisle, raising safety concerns.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses during an event organised to commemorate the rich legacy of the Parliament of India at the Central Hall of the old Parliament building, in New Delhi. Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and Union Ministers Pralhad Joshi and Piyush Goyal are also seen. PTI
However, since independence, India’s population has grown leaps and bounds. Hence, there is a need to increase the number of Lok Sabha constituencies through delimitation and there will be a need to accommodate new members who may be added.
Additionally, a new Parliament building was badly needed as the building was under stress, with very little space for MPs to work and was completely out-dated in terms of seismic and fire safety measures and technological innovations. In fact in 2020, Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri had said that that the existing building was showing signs of distress and over utilisation from parliamentary activities over many years.
A representation of entire India
The first and foremost difference between the two buildings is the size and shape of the structures. Samvidhan Sadan was circular in nature. However, the new building, designed by noted architect Bimal Patel, is triangular in shape. Moreover, the new building, built at an estimated cost of Rs 970 crore, is four-storeys high and spread over 64,500 square metres.
Constructed by Tata Projects Ltd, the new building has a constitution hall, a lounge for MPs, a library, multiple committee rooms, dining areas as well as ample parking space. It also houses almost 5,000 art pieces.
Security personnel at the new Parliament building on the first day of the special session of Parliament, in New Delhi. PTI
The building has six entrances – the Gaja Dwar, Ashwa Dwar, Garuda Dwar, Makar Dwar, Shardula Dwar and Hamsa Dwar. Each one of these doors has a sculptor of a guardian animal – some of them mythological creatures – and they represent different aspects of Indian history and culture. They have been placed as doorkeepers.
It is important to note here that the material used for the new building has been sourced from across the country. For instance, the teakwood used in the building is sourced from Nagpur in Maharashtra, whereas the red and white sandstone comes from Sarmathura in Rajasthan. The Kesharia green stone has been procured from Udaipur, the red granite from Lakha near Ajmer and the white marble has been sourced from Ambaji in Rajasthan.
The steel structure for the false ceilings in the chambers comes from Daman and Diu while all the furniture inside the building has been crafted in Mumbai. The stone ‘jaali’ (lattice) works dotting the building were sourced from Rajnagar in Rajasthan and Noida in Uttar Pradesh.
The Ashoka Emblem has been built from material sources from Aurangabad, Jaipur. The Ashok Chakra donning the massive walls of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha chambers and the exteriors of the Parliament building were procured from Indore in Madhya Pradesh.

Inside new Parliament building
The new Parliament complex will have a grand Constitution Hall to display the “democratic heritage” of the country. Unlike the existing complex, the new Parliament does not have a Central Hall.
Based on the peacock theme, the new Lok Sabha chamber is three times bigger than the one in the existing building. The new Rajya Sabha hall is built on the lotus theme – India’s national flower.
A statue of Mahatma Gandhi is pictured next to India’s new parliament building in New Delhi. Reuters
Last July, Prime Minister Modi had unveiled the National Emblem cast on the roof of the new Parliament building. The 6.5-metre-high bronze emblem weighs 9,500 kg. The new Parliament building is also equipped with six granite statues of important personalities, including freedom struggle leaders. Moreover, there are four galleries each for Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, three India galleries, a Constitution gallery and three ceremonial foyers.
The new complex also features portraits of Mahatma Gandhi, Subhas Chandra Bose and also prime ministers of India, as per News18.
The new Parliament building houses over 5,000 pieces of art from across the country, representing sanatan parampara that continued over thousands of years. PTI
Each wall inside the building also showcase different themes such as the contribution of tribal and women leaders, noted Indian Express.
The official vision document for the new Parliament building says: “The artworks and its installation represent sanatan parampara that continued over thousands of years. Along with that, the overall theme is designed keeping in mind the study of vaastu shastra and maintaining the character of the building.”
The artworks will “depict Indian ethos and identity, related to both the civilisation and culture”, an official told Indian Express.
With inputs from agencies



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