New Delhi [India], July 20 (ANI): Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla met for two hours on Monday to discuss a new option for accommodating the Members of Parliament in conformity with the norm of physical distancing during the monsoon session of Parliament, sources said.
They said that the presiding officers inspected chambers and galleries of both Houses to take stock of seating capacity as per physical distancing norm.
The proposal considered was that members of Lok Sabha would be seated in chambers of both Houses while Lok Sabha is in session and Rajya Sabha members would sit in chambers of both the Houses, the sources said.
"Secretaries General of both the Houses of Parliament have been asked to examine each and every issue to the last minute detail for taking a final decision in respect of this new option after its evaluation against other options under consideration," a source said.
Rajya Sabha chamber and its galleries can accommodate 127 members ensuring physical distancing while Lok Sabha chambers and its galleries can accommodate about 290 members.
Members of each of the two Houses, who cannot be accommodated in the chambers and galleries of respective House, would be seated in the chamber and galleries of the other House, sources said.
The sources said that various logistical and technical issues were identified that need to be addressed if this option were to be exercised. These include enabling the participation of the members of a House seated in the other House through necessary audio-visual connectivity with and display in the other House, audio facilities for members seated in galleries, simultaneous interpretation, taking vote if required, enabling live telecast of proceedings of each House and arrangements for media persons.
Naidu also took stock of seating and other arrangements for administration of oath of new members of Rajya Sabha scheduled for Wednesday.
A total of 42 out of the 61 new members have so far confirmed their participation, the sources said.
The budget session of Parliament started on January 31 and continued till February 11. After the break, it commenced on March 2 for its second leg and was scheduled to end on April 3. However, it was adjourned sine die on March 23 due to COVID-19 pandemic. (ANI)