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Patna : Members of both the Houses of State Legislature in Bihar will assemble here on August 3, 2020, to take part in a truncated, day-long monsoon session, which may be the last occasion for the Houses to meet before the expiry of Bihar legislative assembly’s tenure in November. To be held under the shadow of COVID-19 pandemic, the session will mark the first occasion of legislative business being held away from the Vidhan Sabha premises.

In a notification issued last week, Bihar Governor Fagu Chauhan permitted holding of the session at the modern ‘Gyan Bhavan’ complex, which is a stone’s throw from the historic Gandhi Maidan. The change of venue was necessitated by concerns regarding adherence to social distancing, which has become a must in the wake of the pandemic. The 243-strong assembly will meet at a huge hall located on the second floor of the Gyan Bhavan, which has a seating capacity for 800 people.

The 75-member Bihar legislative council, wherein 20 seats are lying vacant, will meet at a smaller hall, which can accommodate 100 people.

The governor’s notification, which followed a cabinet approval, had proposed a four-day schedule for the legislature, but a decision to cut it short was taken at an all-party meeting chaired by the Speaker, Bihar legislative assembly, Vidhan Sabha, Vijay Kumar Chaudhary, on August 1, 2020. The decision to truncate the session was taken in view of the alarming rate at which COVID-19 has been spreading in the state. Earlier, in March when the Houses were meeting for the budget session, it had to be cut short nearly a fortnight ahead of schedule because of the pandemic.
According to a communication received from Bihar legislative assembly secretariat, facilities like face masks, sanitisers, and antigen testing kits will be available at Gyan Bhavan during the day. In view of the heavy vehicular traffic expected at Gyan Bhavan, the district administration has clamped prohibitory orders in the surrounding area.