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Budget session: Members to attend house physically

The assembly building at Bharadisain spacious enough to accommodate all members while maintaining necessary norms of Covid-19.

There would be no virtual attendance of the members in the house during the upcoming budget session of Uttarakhand assembly due to availability of enough space in the assembly building of Bharadisain in Gairsain as per the norms of Covid-19. In the monsoon and winter session of the assembly held in September and December 2020 respectively the authorities had to toil hard for enforcement of social distancing norms of Covid-19 due to shortage of space. These sessions were held in the assembly building in Dehradun. To overcome the problem of shortage of space the assembly secretariat had made arrangements for virtual attendance of the members in these sessions.

 The budget session of assembly is commencing from March 1. The secretary of the Uttarakhand Vidhan Sabha, Mukesh Singhal told The Pioneer that there is no problem of space in Bharadisain so there is no need for the members to attend the session in virtual mode. He said that the assembly hall is big enough to accommodate all members while maintaining the required physical distancing norms.

It is learnt that the assembly secretariat is planning to allow the visitors and members of the press in the Budget session. However a final decision in this regard would be taken by the Speaker Premchand Agarwal in consultation with the state government.

The visitors and media-persons were not allowed to enter the assembly building in the last two sessions held in Dehradun. 

It is pertinent to mention here that the one day session of Uttarakhand assembly held in Dehradun on September 23, a total of 24 members had attended the session virtually. The experience of virtual attendance of most of the members was not good as when the authorities again gave them the option of virtual attendance for the winter session most of them refused it. It forced the authorities to merge three rooms in the newly constructed Prakash Pant building located adjacent to the assembly hall to give it the shape of a big hall. Here seating arrangements for 30 members were made by installing screens and audio visual systems. Seating arrangements for members were also made in the visitors and press galleries.

The chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat who was suffering from the infection of Covid-19 had attended the winter session virtually. A tweet by CM along with a photograph of him attending the session virtually created a furore. It triggered a debate whether the CM attending the assembly virtually should be considered as part of the house or not. 

Wednesday, 17 February 2021 |Gajendra Singh Negi | Dehradun

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