The Chhattisgarh Legislative Assembly's monsoon session will commence here from Tuesday with new seating arrangements in the house and all precautions in place to curb the spread of COVID-19. The seating arrangements for members of the assembly have been altered to comply with COVID-19 safety protocols.
"Glass partitions have been erected to separate the seats of MLAs to minimise contact between two lawmakers while they attend the proceedings of the house, an assembly official said.
The four-day session is expected to be a stormy affair with the opposition BJP deciding to corner the Congress government over its alleged failure to contain spread of the viral infection, "deteriorating" law and order situation, illegal mining and other issues.
The seats inside the house have capacity to accommodate two to three persons. Only two MLAs will sit in each seat with a glass partition between them. Eleven additional seats have been installed for members inside the house, the official said.
Assembly Speaker Charan Das Mahant on Monday took stock of arrangements made in view of the pandemic in the assembly premises, he said.
It is compulsory for all MLAs to comply with social distancing norms within the Assembly premises, use mask or face cover and sanitise or wash their hands from time to time, he said. Ahead of entry into the House, thermal screening and oxygen level tests will be conducted for every member, he said.
Security staff of ministers, parliamentary secretaries, MLAs and officials will not be allowed to enter the assembly premises. Entry of members of the public have been barred in the Assembly during the session.
Fumigation and sanitisation will be done in the Assembly premises regularly, he said.
Leader of Opposition Dharamlal Kaushik of the BJP said his party will raise several issues, including "sloppy" handling of the COVID-19 situation, illicit sale of liquor, death of elephants, conditions of quarantine centres, illegal sand mining and "reign of terror" unleashed in the state by sand, liquor and land mafia.
"A four-day session is not sufficient as there are ample issues on which the opposition needs answers from the government. But we will strongly take up all issues pertaining to public interest during this limited period," Kaushik said.