Covid-19 Impact: Lok Sabha Members Will Also Sit In Rajya Sabha Chamber In Monsoon Session
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New Delhi: Among many first time measures being adopted during the functioning of Parliament, Lok Sabha members will also sit in the Rajya Sabha chamber when the Monsoon Session starts from September 14.
The unique change, unlike previous sessions, is being adopted to contain the spread of Covid-19 pandemic which infected a record 95,735 people in the country on Thursday, the highest single-day increase till date, taking the total tally to 44,65,863.
Informing the media about seating arrangements for members of the lower house, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla said that 257 MPs will be accommodated in the main chamber of the house, and 172 in the visitors gallery.
Meanwhile, 60 members of the Lok Sabha will sit in Rajya Sabha main chamber and 51 in the gallery of the upper house, he added.
Those members sitting in the Rajya Sabha chamber would participate in the Lok Sabha proceedings live through a big screen set up there, Birla said.
He informed that the attendance of the participating members will be done through mobile.
On the Covid-19 pandemic, Birla also said Zero Hour special mention will be held for half-an-hour in which all the members will be able to put their views.
The Speaker also said that unstarred questions will be put on the table of the House pertaining to the ministries or departments in each group during the fourth session of the 17th Lok Sabha.
On the first day on September 14, Birla said that the proceedings will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. while other sittings of the House from September 15 to October will be held from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.
There will be no off on Saturdays and Sundays.
In the wake of Covid-19 pandemic and also to achieve the objective of a paperless Parliament, the members are requested to submit all notices of unstarred questions for the session through the Members’ Portal only. However, hard copies of notices of unstarred questions will continue to be received in the Parliamentary Notice Office and other designated places.
As per the provisional calendar details issued for the upcoming session, the Corporate Affairs, Culture, Education, Finance, Labour and Employment, Petroleum and Natural Gas, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Steel, Tourism and Tribal Affairs Ministries will lay replies on September 14, 19, 24 and 29.
Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Chemicals and Fertilisers, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Food Processing Industries, Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, Home Affairs, Panchayati Raj, Rural Development, and Social Justice and Empowerment Ministries will lay replies on September 15, 20, 25 and 30.
The Prime Minister, Atomic Energy, Coal, Commerce and Industry, Communications, Defence, Development of North Eastern Region, Electronics and Information Technology, External Affairs, Law and Justice, Mines, Parliamentary Affairs, Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Planning, Railways, Space, and Statistics and Programme Implementation Ministries will lay their replies of unstarred questions on September 16, 21, 26 and October 1.
Civil Aviation, Housing and Urban Affairs, Jal Shakti, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Minority Affairs, New and Renewable Energy, Power, Road Transport and Highways, Shipping, and Youth Affairs and Sports Ministries will reply on September 17, 22 and 27.
The Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH), Earth Sciences, Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Health and Family Welfare, Information and Broadcasting, Science and Technology, Textiles, and Women and Child Development Ministries will lay replies on September 18, 23 and 28.
The Rajya Sabha is expected to meet at a different time on September 14, as it has been decided to stagger the sitting of the two houses due to the Covid-19 guidelines.
There will be in total 18 consecutive sittings with no holiday or weekend break.
Hectic preparations are underway for the session with several first-time measures being put in place because of the Covid-19 pandemic such as testing, staggered sitting of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, and use of both chambers and galleries to accommodate members while following physical distancing norms.
Thermal guns and thermal scanners will be used for noting the body temperatures of all those entering the House. In addition, proper measures for sanitisation of the premises will be undertaken.
Touchless sanitisers will be installed at 40 spots within the House and emergency medical teams and ambulances put on the standby. All guidelines related to Covid-19 prevention will be strictly followed. The social distancing and other guidelines will be followed within the Lok Sabha chamber. Members will be allowed to address the Chair while sitting in their respective seats.