Staggered seating, 18 sittings with no breaks: Monsoon Session of Parliament likely to be held from 14 Sept to 1 Oct

For the first time in Parliament, 60 members will be seated in the chamber, 51 in the galleries of Rajya Sabha, and the remaining 132 in the Lok Sabha chamber

Press Trust of India August 26, 2020 08:56:15 IST
Staggered seating, 18 sittings with no breaks: Monsoon Session of Parliament likely to be held from 14 Sept to 1 Oct

New Delhi: The Monsoon Session of Parliament is likely to be held from 14 September to 1 October, with arrangements being made for staggered seating, large display screens for MPs, and separate timings for the two Houses to ensure social distancing, official sources said on Tuesday.

The session will see 18 sittings without any weekend break or holiday, they said. The dates and other details of this first-of-its-kind session will be announced soon.

Hectic preparations are underway for the upcoming session. Besides staggering sittings, several first-time measures such as the use of both chambers and galleries to accommodate members while following physical distancing norms have been taken, officials had said.

According to the Rajya Sabha Secretariat, members of the Upper House will be seated in both chambers and galleries during the session.

This is the first time in the history of the Indian Parliament that 60 members will be seated in the chamber, 51 in the galleries of Rajya Sabha, and the remaining 132 in the Lok Sabha chamber.

Similar seating arrangements are being worked out by the Lok Sabha Secretariat as well.

For the first time, large display screens and consoles for participation from galleries, ultraviolet germicidal irradiation, special cables between the two Houses and polycarbonate separators will be put in place.

Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla at a meeting on 17 July, after a detailed examination of various options for holding the session, decided on using the chambers and galleries of both the Houses.

Naidu has directed officials to complete preparations for the session by the third week of August when testing, rehearsal and final inspection would be carried out.

The Rajya Sabha Secretariat has been working overtime to ensure full preparedness, officials said.

While both the Houses usually function simultaneously, this time, one House will sit during the morning hours and the other in the evening, sources said.

The Budget Session had to be curtailed because of the COVID-19 pandemic and both Houses were adjourned sine die on 23 March.

As per precedent, Parliament has to be convened before the end of six months from the last session.

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