DEHARDUN: The upcoming Monsoon Session of the Uttarakhand Assembly will be limited to just a day and there will be no Question Hour, Deputy Speaker Raghunath Singh said here, attributing the decision to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in the state.
As per the original schedule, the session was to be held from September 23-25.
"In view of the coronavirus crisis, the Business Advisory Committee of the state Assembly has decided to limit the session to a single day on September 23 and do away with the Question Hour," Singh said.
There will be no Question Hour due to paucity of time and only written replies to questions of public interest will be given by the government, the deputy speaker said.
Assembly Speaker Premchand Aggarwal and Leader of Opposition Indira Hridayesh are among the latest to test positive for COVID-19.
While Hridayesh tested positive on Saturday, Aggarwal's test report came on Sunday.
Several more MLAs, including Madan Kaushik, Bansidhar Bhagat and Kunwar Pranav Singh Champion, had also tested positive for the disease a few weeks ago but they have recovered.
Uttarakhand's COVID tally has already crossed the 40,000-mark.
The deputy speaker, who would preside over the proceedings in the House in the absence of the speaker, said only members who test COVID-19 negative will be allowed to attend the one-day session on September 23.
RT-PCR tests of members are being conducted, he said.
Special seating arrangements have also been made in the 71-member Assembly, keeping in mind the need for physical distancing, Singh said.
Only 30 members will be allowed to sit inside the Assembly pavilion (sabha mandap), 10 in the spectators' and the media galleries and the rest in a separate room, the deputy speaker said.
There will be a distance of two yards between the members, he said.
Arrangements for attending the session through a virtual platform have also been made, and all members, especially those aged 65 and above, have been advised to attend the session virtually, Singh added.