One is 96-year-old, the other has just been born. One took nine years to conceive and six years to be created; the other took just two years to conceive and mere three years to be constructed.
The imposing photographs alongside will make the answer to this riddle a child’s play but this ain’t a play. This is about the country’s highest seat of power – the Parliament House of India, the old one, which was built in 1927, and the new one being inaugurated.
The old building of Parliament not only saw the handing over of power from the British to Indians in 1947 but also witnessed the adoption of the Constitution of India in 1950. However, over the course of nearly a hundred years and with the increase in the girth of the nation, the old building had outlived its utility, posing security hazards and space crunch.
A modern India, with many more people, many more constituencies and many more dreams, needed a new Parliament House which befitted the rising aspirations of its people and which could accommodate the future increase in the number of legislative constituencies.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious dream of transforming the Central Vista on Kartavya Path in New Delhi featured a new Parliament building as its centrepiece. The Master Plan of the project was conceived in 2019, just before the pandemic hit the world, in December that year.
The ground-breaking ceremony of the new Parliament building was held in 2020, amid the lockdown and the work never stopped after that. With adequate precautionary measures, the construction work of the new Parliament building continued throughout the lockdown and the result is that the new seat of power has been completed in a short span of just three years.
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