Prime Minister Narendra Modi spent Christmas in Afghanistan inaugurating the newly built parliament building in Kabul, a gift from India to the war-ravaged nation. The large complex, built over 100 acres of land, with a gleaming copper roof stands in the Dar-ul-Aman Palace complex of the capital.
The video above (no subtitles, though), a clip from an Afghani news channel Tolo News, shows the parliament building in detail. The building has two session halls for the Wolesi Jirga (House of the People) and Meshrano Jirga (House of Elders), with capacities of 294 and 190 seats, respectively, Pajhwok Afghanistan News reported. It it also has a lobby, offices for Parliamentarians, conference rooms, a library, dining halls, and Press rooms, among other facilities.
Built at a cost of Rs 947 crore, the foundation for the complex was laid jointly by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, though in his speech Prime Minister Modi credited Atal Bihari Vajpayee with conceiving the project. The inauguration coincided with Vajpayee's 91st birthday, also marked as Good Governance Day in India.
Pajhwok Afghan News reported, "The foundation stone of the building had been laid on Aug. 29, 2005 by King Mohammad Zahir Shah, former president Hamid Karzai and then Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh."
"The design and preliminary work on the building was completed in 2009. Practical work started in March 2009 and was nearly completed by the end of 2011, but due to some issues in transferring construction material, the project had been halted for some years," the report adds.