Covid fallout: Monsoon session to be held outside Dehradun Vidhan Sabha ?
Uttarakhand might be the state which boasts to have two assembly buildings- one in provisional state capital Dehradun and other at the summer capital Bharadisain in Gairsain but chances are that the ensuing monsoon session of assembly would be held at a place other than these two buildings. This unique situation has arisen due to the prevailing pandemic of novel Coronavirus and the restrictions enforced to ensure the physical distancing norms are maintained during the session proceedings.
The monsoon session of the Uttarakhand assembly is slated to start from September 23. However the Covid-19 regulations have made the Vidhan Sabha secretariat ponder over various options for successful holding of the session. One of these options is to hold the session in some hotel or other suitable place in Dehradun city.
The governor of Uttarakhand Baby Rani Maurya has already endorsed the notification to hold the three day monsoon session in Dehradun. The hall of the assembly building in Dehradun is faced with acute shortage of space which means that the authorities would have to accommodate some members in the galleries for the session. However sources state that the space in galleries is also not enough to make the members sit as per the Covid-19 regulations. It is learnt that the authorities are also mulling over a proposal to hold the session in some big hall either in some hotel or in some spacious building like that of Forest Research Institute (FRI). The Uttarakhand assembly had hosted a conference of presiding officers of legislative bodies of India in December last year in a hotel. Here they had set up a temporary assembly hall. One opinion is to hold the monsoon session in this hotel. The authorities can also take a leaf out of neighbouring Uttar Pradesh (UP) where the members who are more than 65 year old were given an option to attend the session virtually from their residences.
Former secretary of the Uttarakhand assembly Jagdish Chandra told The Pioneer that the hall of the assembly is small and cannot accommodate even one more person than its existing capacity of 71 members. “Holding session at a place outside the assembly building would be not practical. The best thing would be to erect a water proof tent in the assembly premises itself so that the existing infrastructure is utilised,’’ he opined.
When contacted the officiating secretary of Uttarakhand assembly, Mukesh Singhal said the decision on the issue would be taken by the speaker, the parliamentary affairs minister and the leader of the opposition.
Tuesday, 25 August 2020 | Gajenrda Singh Negi | Dehradun
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