The Hindu

Assembly session at Kalaivanar Arangam?

Venue suitable for ensuring adherence to physical distancing norms, says source

- Dennis S. Jesudasan

The session will not be held in the Assembly hall for sure. Kalaivanar Arangam is the most likely choice since it is closer to MLAs’ quarters Source

In view of the COVID-19 situation, the next session of the Legislativ­e Assembly is likely to be held in Kalaivanar Arangam on Wallajah Salai, in Chennai, to ensure better enforcemen­t of physical distancing norms among legislator­s. The seating arrangemen­t in the present Assembly hall provides little scope for distancing.

The House was adjourned sine die on March 24 and the next session is due next month. The Assembly must meet at least once in six months.

‘Closer to quarters’

Multiple sources confirmed to The Hindu that the multipurpo­se hall on the third floor of Kalaivanar Arangam was being actively considered for convening the House. “The session will not be held in the Assembly hall for sure. Kalaivanar Arangam is the most likely choice since it is closer to MLAs’ quarters,” a source said.

Another source cited ample parking facilities and the building’s proximity to the Assembly Secretaria­t, besides its major attraction — a large multi-purpose hall where seats can be arranged in compliance with physical distancing norms.

Officials from the Assembly Secretaria­t and the Public Works Department visited the Kalaivanar Arangam a few days ago to survey the vicinity, an official said.

A final call

A senior official said the Assembly Speaker would take a final call on the venue.

Since Independen­ce, the Assembly has met only in the present historic hall. For a brief period during the DMK regime, the Assembly met at the present-day Government Multi Super-Specialty Hospital, which was an Assembly-cum-Chief Secretaria­t complex.

“But before the current venue, Assembly sessions were held in Rajaji Hall,” an official pointed out.

The old Kalaivanar Arangam was demolished and the new one, with multiple auditorium­s and a multi-purpose hall, was constructe­d at the same venue. It was inaugurate­d by the then Chief Minister, Jayalalith­aa, in February 2016.

 ??  ?? Good option: Ample parking facilities and proximity to the Assembly Secretaria­t were also cited as reasons.
Good option: Ample parking facilities and proximity to the Assembly Secretaria­t were also cited as reasons.

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