KABUL: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit Kabul in near for inaugurating the India-built parliament building of Afghanistan, with its construction work scheduled to be completed by the end of this month.
Sources in India’s Ministry of Urban Development have told The Times of India that the building and other facilities will be ready in the next fortnight and that it will be ready for inauguration by MP Modi soon.
The construction work on this building begun with an aide of Rs. 710 crore by India’s state-owned construction agency Central Public Works Department (CPWD) in December 2009 and was scheduled to be completed by December 2011 but it was delayed.
Inside the building according to The Times of India:
It comprises of Parliament Block having two large assembly halls, with dome of 32 meters diameter and 14.5 meters height over main assembly hall, entrance hall, general purpose wing, a basement and a separate multi-purpose service block. The number of storeys in Parliament block varies from two to three above the artificially elevated ground level excluding basement.
The House of People, locally called as Wolesi Jirga, has a normal seating capacity of 256 and future provision of 38 seats. During joint session of both the Houses, the inner lobby of this block shall have additional space for provision of seating of members of Senate and others, presently 170 seats plus 20 future seats. Provision for press gallery and visitors gallery has also been kept.
The Upper House, which is called as Meshrano Jirga, will presently have a seating capacity for 134 seats. The flooring consists of superior type wooden flooring, granite and marble in combination, superior type granite flooring, Makrana white marble flooring and carpet flooring.
India and Afghanistan have friendly relationship from decades. The country has played an important role in the reconstruction of Afghanistan after the fall of Taliban in 2001.
Since 2002, the Government of India has committed $2 billion to the socio-economic rebuilding of the Afghan state and society in accordance with the development priorities of the Government and the people of Afghanistan.
Apart from the parliament building, the country has other ongoing infrastructure projects in Afghanistan including Salma dam, renamed as “Afghan-India Friendship Dam”, in western Herat province which will incur a cost of around $300 million by the time of its completion.
Besides, its assistance in the construction sector, the country is also helping Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) and security institutions in war on terror. -KP
THE PASHTUN TIMES