With Members of Parliament bidding adieu to the British-era building and moving to a new premises, the Yogi Adityanath government too has expedited the search for a suitable site to construct the new Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly.
Officials with the UP government said if all goes well, the state will have a new Vidhan Sabha by 2027.
Early this year, Assembly Speaker Satish Mahana had announced that UP would get a new Vidhan Sabha building. He had also said that the UP chief minister was monitoring the proposed development.
Now, the state government has expedited the hunt for a suitable piece of land for the Vidhan Sabha’s construction. The foundation of the new building is likely to be laid on December 25 to mark the birth anniversary of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
A government spokesperson said the UP government has already allocated Rs 50 crore in the recent budget for the building. “The initial amount is meant to meet the basic expenses,” the official said.
Uttar Pradesh has a bicameral legislature comprising the Vidhan Sabha (legislative assembly) and the Vidhan Parishad (legislative council). Officials said the need for a new Vidhan Sabha, replacing the 95-year-old existing building, was first felt in the 1990s, following multiple studies conducted to analyse the space crunch.
Against the sanctioned strength of 403 members, there are seats for only 379 members in the current building. The situation becomes more cumbersome during the Governor’s joint address to the two Houses.
Initially, it was said a replica of the existing Vidhan Bhawan would come up on the land just opposite it but now, the Lok Bhawan has come up in its place. Another plan was to shift the Lucknow Zoo to the jungles of Kukrail and utilise the space for the new Vidhan Bhawan. Officials also reviewed the space near Darul Shifa area but following the paucity of land, the site was rejected.
Sources said the UP government has zeroed in on the new site in Chak Ganjaria area of Lucknow.
“In totality, for the construction of Vidhan Bhawan, around 160 acres of land is required. Hence, Chak Ganjaria seems to be a suitable place but we are yet to lock the decision,” the official added.
The foundation of the current Legislative House was laid by the then United Provinces Governor Sir Spencer Harcourt Butler on December 15, 1922, and it was inaugurated on February 21, 1928, said Roshan Taqui, a renowned historian who has penned several books on the history of Awadh.
Taqui said at the time of inauguration, an amount of Rs 21 lakh was sanctioned for the construction. “The present-day Vidhan Sabha is no less than an Indo-European architectural marvel. Its front portion is in the shape of crescent, the central part has a large Gothic dome and the entire building is made up of sandstone blocks that were especially brought from East UP,” he said.