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Building of the Assembly

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HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

The building of Provincial Assembly of the Punjab was designed by Mr Bazel M Salune, Superintending Architect, Architecture Circle, Punjab and built on Shahrah-e-Quaid-e-Azam, (The Mall) Lahore. It is not only a marvelous piece of Roman architecture, but is also one of the historical buildings of the country. Its foundation stone was laid down on November 17, 1935 by Sir Jogindra Singh, Minister for Agriculture and was completed in 1938.

The building and the adjoining land spread over an area of 16 acres. The building has two floors. On ground floor, there is a wide reception area, cafeteria, library, office of the Leader of the Opposition, one committee room, and offices of the Assembly Secretariat. Two rooms on ground floor have been dedicated for bank and dispensary to facilitate Members and staff of the Assembly.

The first floor consists of Chief Minister's chamber, Speaker's chamber, Deputy Speaker's office, Conference room, offices for Ministers, two committee rooms and offices of the Secretariat.

Punjab Assembly Building      Speaker's seat in the Hall

ADDITIONAL ASSEMBLY BUILDING

After increase in the membership of Assembly in the year 2002, and the expected consequential increase in the staff of the Secretariat as well as to provide additional office accommodation to the Ministers and their Staff, it was planned in the year 2005 to build an additional Assembly building. The construction started in the year 2006 and is in progress. In order to maintain the grandeur of the historic present building, it was decided that the additional building would be a true replica of this present building. As per plan, there are three floors and a basement; 40 rooms for Ministers at basement and ground floor; Chief Minister’s office, Secretary’s office and Committee rooms at 1st floor; cafeteria and the offices of Speaker, Deputy Speaker and Leader of the Opposition on the second floor.

              

THE HALL

The hall or chamber of the House is situated at the first floor of the present building. It presents a rare admixture of grandeur and beauty. It has two chambers; the lower chamber, having a capacity of 271 seats, is meant for conduct of the business of the House and the upper chamber, with a capacity of 200 seats, contains galleries for the media including radio and TV as well as visitors for witnessing the proceedings of the House,. The hall is fitted with the public address and CCTV system.

It was originally constructed for small number of members; however, in the year 2002, the membership of the Assembly was increased to 371 Members; hence, the existing Hall became insufficient to accommodate these Members. As stopgap arrangement, a portion of the visitor’s gallery and press gallery was, therefore, declared as part of the House to accommodate additional members reducing the capacity of press and visitors’ galleries from 200 to 100. Now the members, attending Session of the Assembly, are seated in two separate chambers, situated on two floors.

Punjab Assembly Hall

NEW HALL

The above-mentioned stopgap arrangement gave birth to practical intricacies both for the members and the Chair. Along with additional Assembly building, a new Assembly Hall was, therefore, also planned to be constructed positioned between the old and the new Assembly buildings. The construction of dome shaped new hall is in progress. It has a capacity of 500 seats in the main hall and 600 seats in the galleries for visitors and 300 seats in the press gallery for media personals covering the proceedings of the House. There would be Speaker’s Chamber, Record room, recording room, media room, security room and lobbies for Ayes and Noes adjacent to the new Hall.

RESIDENTIAL HOSTELS

For the boarding of out-station members coming to Lahore for attending meetings of the Assembly or of a Committee, there are two residential hostels namely, Pipals House and New MPAs’ Hostel.

(i) PIPALS HOUSE

The members’ first residential hostel is called 'Pipals House' which is situated near the Punjab Civil Secretariat about three kilometers away from the Assembly building. It was built in 1950. There are only 40 rooms in the hostel. The hostel consists of three double storey blocks, each facing a common garden in the centre, six rooms on each storey and a fourth block with four rooms.

Each residential unit consists of a huge bed-cum-sitting room, a dressing room and a bath room. Some units have kitchen and verandah at the back of rooms. There is a corridor in front of all the rooms serving as passage.

(ii) NEW MPAs' HOSTEL

Due to inadequate residential facility of Pipals House, the project for construction of a new hostel was launched in 1988. The site was selected in the lawn of the western side of the Assembly building with a public road in between the two. M/s Nayyar Ali Dada was appointed as consultant who carried out the master plan of the project.

Anticipating heavy financial implications and inadequate funding, the possibility of undertaking this project as a whole was not found feasible, therefore, this project was split into different phases. As per master plan, New MPAs’ Hostel building was to comprise two Blocks ‘A’ and ‘B’. The shape of Block 'A' was semi-circular, whereas Block "B" was rectangular in shape. Block 'A' consisting of 108 suites was further divided into Phase-I and Phase-II. In 1988, construction of Phase-I was started and foundation stone was laid by the then Chief Minister and the present Prime Minister, Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif.

This Phase-I (1/3 portion of Block 'A') was completed in 1992. It consists of basement, ground floor consisting of reception, lounge for visitors and service area (for provision of different services like water supply, sewerage, gas supply, etc.). The four residential floors has a total of 36 suites, each floor having 9 suites and each suite consists of one bed room with attached bath and kitchen. The accumulated capacity of both the hostels was now 76 rooms/suites (40+36).

EXTENSION OF NEW MPAs' HOSTEL

The construction of Phase-II could not be undertaken. According to the original plan, this phase had 72 residential units/suites for MPAs which was later revised. According to the revised plan it had 40 residential suites consisted of a lounge, a bed room, an office, a kitchen, and two bath rooms. One bath room was to be attached with the lounge and the other with the bed room.

The plan of constructing another MPAs’ Hostel consisting 96 lodges was later revised and it was planned to extend the New MPAs’ Hostel by adding 24 suites to the existing 40 suites. The construction is in progress and 4 suites have been completed and made operational. The construction of remaining 20 suites is in progress. After completion of the extension, both the hostels will accommodate 100 MPAs.

THE MOSQUE

Although the new project provides a dedicated room for mosque in the new Assembly building, however, the Members of the Assembly desired that a separate mosque be constructed in the lawn appurtenant to the old Assembly building. The Hon’ble Members contributed to the fund generously and the construction of a mosque with the capacity of 450 persons is in progress.