Described as ‘India’s symbolic gift of democracy to Afghanistan’, the new Afghan parliament building is all set for a formal inauguration with the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi expected to visit capital Kabul for the inauguration ceremony Friday, December 25th.
The construction work of the new parliament building started in 2009 by India’s premier government-owned construction agency – Central Public Works Department (CPWD), with an estimated construction cost of $90 million.
The Indian officials announced last Friday that the construction work of the new Afghan parliament building is expected to be fully completed by the end of this month and will become ready for inauguration by Prime Minister Modi.
One of the key features of the new parliament building is its dome which is said to be one of the largest among the parliaments in Asia.
The new parliament building also has elements of Mughal and modern architecture with marbles used from Chesht-e-Sharif district of western Herat province.
According to the Ministry of Urban Develpment Affairs of Afghanistan (MUDA), the compound comprises of four sections, including A,B,C and D. Section-A is the main parliament hall where the lawmakers in the Lower House of the Parliament – Wolesi Jirga will hold parliamentary sessions.
Section-B is comprised of a four story building which will include two halls for general sessions, separate dining halls for the Lower and Upper House of the Parliament. A library will also be included Section-B of the new parliament building which will include a computer room.
The Section-C of the new parliament building is known as the entrance hall which will have a dome constructed of stainless steel and glass which will have five halls for parliamentary commissions in the second floor.
A big administration building, a mosque that could house 400 prayers, a modern library, VIP guesthouse and 350 apartments for the lawmakers have also been considered in the new parliament building.
India has played a crucial role by participating in the rebuilding of Afghanistan following the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001.
Since 2002, the Government of India has committed around USD 2 billion dollars 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.