Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday laid the foundation stone of the new Parliament building in New Delhi and performed a Bhoomi Pyjan ceremony.

Leaders of different political parties and diplomats from other countries attended the ceremony, which was followed by an inter-faith prayer meet.

The new structure will come up in a 64,500 square metres area adjacent to the existing parliament  building at an estimated cost of Rs 971 crores.

Indian Vice-President and chairman of Rajya Sabha, M Venkaiah Naidu and Lok Sabha speaker, Om Birla had proposed the construction of a new parliament building in August 2019.

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“It is a matter of pride for us that the new parliament building will be built by our own people as an apt example of Aatmanirbhar Bharat,” a report quoted Om Birla as saying.

The Union government hopes to hold the parliament session in 2022 to commemorate the 75th year of the country’s independence in this building.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court, which had been hearing pleas challenging the project on environmental grounds, directed the Union government to refrain from cutting trees and constructing or demolishing any structure on the project site.

The government could proceed with the paperwork connected to the project.

The Parliament’s prime attraction will be the  Constitution hall that will showcase India’s democratic heritage.

The Constitution hall will be made open for the public.

The building will also comprise of a lounge for members of the Parliament, a library, multiple committee rooms, dining areas and a large parking space.

Different elements of Indian culture, regional arts, crafts and architecture will be incorporated into the design new building.

The building will enable the Lok Sabha chamber to accommodate up to 1,224 members during joint sessions.

The Rajya Sabha will be able to accommodate 384 members.

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