Monsoon Session of Parliament likely to begin from September 14; Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha to sit in shifts

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Updated: August 26, 2020 10:45 AM

The Monsoon Session of Parliament will see 18 sittings without any weekend break or holiday. The session is likely to begin from September 14.

Monsoon Session of Parliament likely to begin from September 14.

The Monsoon Session of Parliament is likely to be held from September 14 to October 1, 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 staggered 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 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 July 17, after 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 March 23. As per precedent, Parliament has to be convened before the end of six months from the last session.

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