Odisha Channel Bureau
Bhubaneswar: The monsoon session of Odisha Assembly began here on Tuesday amid COVID-19 pandemic by strictly observing the safety norms such as social distancing.
As many as 16 bills are likely to be tabled for discussion in the session which will conclude on October 7.
While Speaker Surjya Nayaran Patro and many legislators have joined the session in the Assembly building by maintaining social distancing norms, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is participating in the Assembly proceedings from his residence, Naveen Nivas through video conferencing.
Several legislators are taking part from the Lok Seva Bhavan, while some members are also participating in the session from their respective constituencies.
As many as 14 Ministers and legislators who have tested positive for COVID-19 have been barred from coming to the Assembly premises.
The shortened session will have no question hour and the proceedings of the House will be conducted for four hours every day.
The session assumes significance since two bills relating to agriculture and one relating to the universities in the State.
Although ruling BJD has said they are always open to all constructive suggestions and criticisms of the opposition, the BJP and Congress have decided to question about alleged mismanagement of COVID-19 crisis.
The opposition will also raise the issue of hike in the electricity tariff along with some ordinances passed by the State government.
Meanwhile, as many as 3,067 new COVID-19 positive cases were reported in the State during the last 24 hours taking the total number of cases to 2,15,676.
A total of 1,77,585 persons have recovered so far, while 37,210 persons are undergoing treatment at different hospitals and COVID care centres, officials said on Tuesday morning.
The death toll has increased to 828 with the death 15 more people due to COVID-19 during the last 24 hours. Besides, 53 persons who were affected by COVID-19 have died due to other ailments.