Parliament Monsoon Session 2020: Parliament Members Accommodation Not Possible With Social Distancing

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Parliament Monsoon Session 2020: The monsoon session of the Lok Sabha will begin at its scheduled time amid the Corona transition. Keeping in mind the social distancing, the seating arrangement of MPs of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha is facing difficulties. Vice President Venkaiah Naidu and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla are working to solve this problem.

According to sources, Venkaiah Naidu and Om Birla on Tuesday discussed the options available to run the monsoon session smoothly. In a meeting convened by Venkaiah Naidu, the Secretary-General of both the Houses informed the Presiding Officers on the various options under consideration.

The Secretary-General informed about the seating capacity in both the Houses, Central Hall of Parliament, and Plenary Hall of Vigyan Bhawan. According to the information, he informed that about 60 people can sit in the Rajya Sabha Chamber. As per the norms of social distancing, the Lok Sabha Chamber and Central Hall are sufficient for close to 100 members.

He further said that even if the seating arrangement of the members is done in the gallery also, the total seating capacity will be much less than the requirement. It will not be possible to seat all the members in both the houses.

Giving information to Naidu and Birla, two senior officials said that even the Plenary Hall of Vigyan Bhavan would not be sufficient for all members of the Lok Sabha. He has said that the Presiding Officers have informed that not having AC facility during the day in the Central Hall will cause problems.

Naidu and Birla also discussed the option to allow only the number of MPs to be seated in view of social distancing in both houses. It will include the same MPs whose case will come on the floor of the House.

According to sources, Venkaiah Naidu and Om Birla have asked to explore the options necessary to ensure the presence of more and more MPs through the presence of members in a virtual manner.

Sources told that it was said at the time of the virtual meeting of parliamentary committees that any change in the rules of such meetings is required to be moved in both houses of Parliament.

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