Camp, Ottawa, 08 January 2020: Speaking at the 25th Conference of Speakers and Presiding Officers of the Commonwealth (CSPOC), Lok Sabha Speaker Shri Om Birla said that our Parliament House Building has completed 92 glorious years; it was made functional in the year 1927. Observing that with the enhanced mandate, the responsibilities of Parliamentarians have also multiplied, Shri Birla said that there is an urgent need to provide sufficient space and facilities for the Members of Parliament and the staff in Parliament House to fulfill the dream of ‘New India’. He shared with Delegates that India will hold its Session in new Parliament House to mark the 75th Anniversary of its Independence in the year 2022. He underlined that the redevelopment and revamping of the Central Vista from Rastrapati Bhawan to India Gate have already been initiated and the aim of this exercise is to fulfill the requirements for the next 250 years.
Shri Birla said that the architecture of Parliament building symbolizes the aspirations of the State and its people; it also epitomizes the character of the State, its traditions and cultural heritage. He said that with the increasing number of lawmakers and the ever-growing mandate of Parliaments, the Legislatures across the world are also expanding. He emphasized that the renovation and reconstruction of Parliamentary building facilitates transformation in cultural, technological and infrastructural spheres which strengthen the interface of citizens with Parliaments and in turn, consolidates democracy.
Shri Birla underlined Legislatures across the world have been contemplating to renovate and redevelop Parliamentary buildings to address the emerging requirements of the 21st century. He expressed the view that it is necessary to consult Members and the Staff to undertake the renovation and reconstruction and that too, within the prescribed time limit with minimal capital and without any interference in the Parliamentary work. In this regard, he mentioned that Parliament of India has consulted all stakeholders while finalizing the blueprint of the new Parliament Building and their suggestions would be incorporated in the construction of the new Parliament House.
Shri Harivansh Deputy Chairman, Rajya Sabha, while speaking on the theme “Parliamentary Engagement: Openness, Transparency and Accountability”, said that Parliamentary engagement with the people forms the bedrock of a vibrant democratic system and it is essential that the role and function of Parliaments as well as the work carried out in the Chambers are communicated effectively to the citizens.
Shri Harivansh asserted that openness, transparency and accountability are the cornerstones of a successful parliamentary democracy. Observing that all the three are inter-related and mutually reinforce each other, Shri Harivansh said that these are basically contingent upon the trust and faith that the people have in their representatives who constitute the Legislature. Therefore, the need for the Legislatures to engage, or re-engage the citizens at various levels of their functioning hardly needs to be over-emphasized, he added.