The plan to relocate the offices of labour, water resources and shipping ministries has also been put on hold though a new building, constructed at a cost over Rs 350 crore, to accommodate them was inaugurated last month. Only after all the offices are shifted from the Transport and Shram Shakti Bhawans these two buildings will be razed for construction of the MP chambers.
“Around 800 chambers for members of Parliament will be constructed in the redeveloped Shram Shakti Bhawan. Their construction will start in April 2022 and will be completed by March 2024,” a booklet titled ‘Parliament House: From Past To The Future’ issued by the Lok Sabha secretariat in December 2020 had mentioned. Though the second spell of Covid-19 in 2021 impacted the plan, officials admitted that there has been inordinate delay in this project.
The proposal for MP chambers is part of the redevelopment plan of the entire area and keeping in mind the likely increase in the number of lawmakers after the next delimitation exercise. The government had claimed that the allotment of chambers would help the MPs carry out their tasks more efficiently. “Initially it was planned that the chambers will be ready when new MPs get elected next year. But going by the current status, this won’t be a reality before 2025,” said a source.
TOI has learnt that the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) is still reworking on the building plan and it would take more time. Earlier, a green panel had flagged the issue of the CPWD’s plan to keep only one tree at the site and transplant the remaining 248 trees to other locations. Since then the plan is back to the department’s drawing board. The proposed MP chambers will come up on the plot where Transport and Shram Shakti Bhawans are currently located. The estimated cost of the MP chambers project is around Rs 1,200 crore.
Meanwhile, as this project is getting delayed, the government has applied brakes on the shifting of offices from these two government buildings to the newly-built General Pool Office Accommodation (GPOA) building. Sources said it would take at least two-three months for offices to shift to the GPOA building.