New Delhi: The idea of an alternative Parliament House has failed to catch up with Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, who is of the view that the present heritage building should be retained.
"This (the heritage building) should be retained as Parliament House and it should be cleared of all encroachments," he told reporters when asked about the issue of a new Parliament House complex.
Insisting that these were his personal views, Bansal said that every effort should be made to make the Parliament House complex a functional place by removing all other offices from the 85-year-old heritage building.
Except the offices of the Lok Sabha Speaker, Rajya Sabha Chairman, Secretary Generals of both the Houses, the Table offices and the office for reporters and some other offices, all other offices could be moved to a new building.
He said that utilities like MPs canteen should also be shifted to the new building which should be connected to the Parliament House by an underpass for ensuring quick access to all concerned.
Bansal was of the view that there was no need for a new complex as the structural stability of the heritage structure could be strengthened through modern techniques.
The Parliamentary Affairs Minister`s remarks are significant as they have come ahead of a meeting of the Heritage Committee of Parliament scheduled here on August 9 and the talk that Speaker Meira Kumar would soon set up a High Powered Committee to go into the issue of a new Parliament complex.
The 85-year-old Parliament House is a Grade I heritage structure, designed by Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker.
Reports had it that the issue of the site, size and the structure of the alternative complex would be decided by the HPC.