Bhubaneswar: Keeping in view the forthcoming session of the state assembly starting from September 29 and more importantly the precautions and restrictions due to the ongoing virulent pandemic Covid-19, Odisha Assembly Speaker Surya Narayan Patro is presiding over an all-party meeting to discuss issues.
Briefing media after the important meeting, Speaker Surya Narayan Patro informed, “Covid test of all the MLAs will be conducted. Those who are tested negative will be allowed entry. Those tested positive will not be allowed.
The test will begin from tomorrow at 8 am. The results will be available within four hours. After a week, there will be re-test. The drivers and PSOs of all the MLAs will also undergo Covid test. All the staff accompanying the Ministers will also undergo the test. All the staffers of Assembly will also undergo the test. Press and media representatives attending the session will also be tested.”
He also informed, “Seating arrangements, however, have been made for all the legislators abiding by the strict social-distance as per the State Government’s guidelines.”
He added, “We have made provisions for the elderly MLAs to attend session from the concerned District Collector’s video-conferencing hall. But, he or she has to inform us in writing well in advance. He or she can also avail the opportunity if has video conferencing facility at home or residence office. If intimated in writing much earlier, we can make the necessary arrangements accordingly.”
He further informed that the business transactions of the House will be as usual. Inaugural day will begin at 11 am with obituary references and House will be adjourned as a mark of respect to the departed soul (s) in the morning session. It will re-assemble in the afternoon hours onwards. From next day onwards, the House will assemble at 10.30 am till 1 pm. In the afternoon hours, it will be from 3 to 5 pm.
Responding to media query on Question Hour, he said, “It’s the discretion of the Speaker whether to take up or not. It will be declared on that day itself.”