The government and HCP Design, the architecture firm overseeing the project, say its necessity is not up for dispute. “From the day after independence, parliament was too small, because the existing building was the council house for the British raj,” said Bobby Desai, director of design at HCP. “We have limped along since then. It was certainly never designed to be a parliament building for a country of 1.4 billion people.”
Desai insisted that it was unsafe to do so, and that an entirely new building was the only option. “The current building has heritage status and physically can not be expanded any further, without being incredibly invasive,” he said. HCP say their design will also create 75 acres more of public green space, including part of presidential estate being opened up for the first time as an arboretum showcasing India’s biodiversity.1
- 1. With Delhi currently the most polluted city in the world, many have questioned why there are funds for this grandiose development but not to clean the city’s toxic air. The coronavirus pandemic, and the massive financial strain it has put on India and its millions of migrant workers, has led many to argue that the billions could now be better spent on urgently needed healthcare and welfare. However, a petition for the vista development to be delayed due to the pandemic was rejected by the Supreme Court last week.