Rajya Sabha Chairperson Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday directed that Parliament House should be fully prepared to start the Monsoon session from the third week of August, ANI reported. “Work is in progress at fast pace for ensuring several additional installations in prescribed time like four large display screens in the chamber of the House,” a statement by the Rajya Sabha Secretariat said.

This will be the first session of Parliament following the coronavirus-induced lockdown, which began on March 25.

The chambers and galleries of both Houses will have seating arrangements, NDTV reported. Four large display screens, measuring 85 cm each, will be set up in the chambers, and six smaller screens of 40 cm each in the galleries, the news network said. There will cables to transport real-time audiovisual signals and communications consoles to enable members to participate in debates and discussions.

An ultraviolet irradiation system may also be installed in the air conditioning unit of the Rajya Sabha to kill viruses and germs. These preparations will help in enforcing physical distancing measures, Parliament officials said.

The officials also said that each House will convene for only four hours per day. The Lok Sabha will convene first, followed by the Rajya Sabha. Polycarbonate sheets will be put in place to separate the Officials Gallery from the chamber, as both are in close proximity.

The new arrangements will permit only 15 seats in the Press Gallery. No temporary or session pass-holding reporters will be permitted, and ex-legislators will not be allowed in the Central Hall when the Parliament session is on.

The seats allocated for each party will be indicated by placards, The Indian Express reported. Seats will be reserved for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Leader of the Opposition, heads of other parties, as well as former Prime Ministers Manmohan Singh and HD Deve Gowda and Union ministers Ramvilas Paswan and Ramdas Athawale.

India on Sunday reported 63,489 new coronavirus cases in the country, according to the Ministry of Health. The toll was up by 944 to 49,980. This took the total number of cases in the country to 25,89,682. The positivity rate, which gives an indication of the prevalence of the disease, stood at 8.50%.

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