The National Emblem

Source: By Divya A: The Indian Express

On 11 July 2022 morning, Prime Minister unveiled the National Emblem cast on the roof of the new Parliament building. Work is underway to meet the October-November 2022 deadline for completion of the work.

The National Emblem

Cast at the top of the Central Foyer of the new Parliament building, the 6.5-metre-high National Emblem is made of bronze, and weighs 9,500 kg. A supporting structure of steel weighing around 6,500 kg has been constructed to support the Emblem.

The concept sketch and process of casting of the National Emblem on the roof of the building went through eight different stages of preparation from clay modelling/ computer graphics to bronze casting and polishing, officials said.

The building’s interiors

The new building will have six granite statues of important personalities, four galleries each for the two Houses of Parliament, three ceremonial foyers, three India galleries, and one Constitution gallery.

Each wall in the building will have a dominant theme — dedicated, for instance, to the contribution of tribal leaders, or to showcasing the contribution of women. Displays including a mix of portraits, illustrative arts, installations, sculptures, and decorative art will frame storylines.

Almost 70 per cent of the artwork that will adorn the walls of the building have been commissioned; the rest will be sourced over the next two months.

Architectural style

Bimal Patel of HCP Designs, Ahmedabad, is the architect in charge of the building, which is triangular in shape, and incorporates architectural styles from around India. The building is coming up adjacent to the existing Parliament complex, and is of almost the same size. According to Patel’s office, the building is designed to be earthquake-resistant.

The new complex has 888 seats in the Lok Sabha chamber and 384 seats in the Rajya Sabha chamber. Unlike the present Parliament building, there is no Central Hall, and the Lok Sabha chamber will be able to house 1,272 members in case of a joint session. The building will have an open-sky area of 2,000 sq metre for a banyan tree.

Completion deadline

The existing building was designed by Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker who were responsible for the planning and construction of New Delhi. It was inaugurated in 18 January 1927, by then Governor General of India Lord Irwin. The foundation stone for the new building was laid by the Prime Minister in December 2020 nearly a century after the foundation for the existing Parliament was laid by the Duke of Connaught on 12 February 1921.

Speaker Om Birla said on 11 July 2022 that the new Parliament building will “most likely be completed in time by October-November 2022”, in time to hold the winter session this year, to coincide with 75th year of India’s independence.

Cost of the project

The new Parliament building project was awarded to Tata Projects for Rs 971 crore. The estimated project cost has shot up by nearly 24 per cent to about Rs 1,200 crore due to additional works, changes in construction plan, and pandemic-related delays.

The building is part of the Central Vista Project, which also includes a joint central secretariat, revamp of the Rajpath, a new Prime Minister’s residence, a new Prime Minister’s Office, and a new Vice-President’s enclave.