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Tighter security, corona scare affect Parliament footfall

March 11, 2020 02:12 PM

NEW DELHI: The coronavirus scare is showing its impact on the Budget Session of Parliament too. On the one hand, the security apparatus at Parliament is restricting entry of aides, personal staff and other hangers-on who are a common sight when the House is in session. On the other hand, the number of visitors to view Parliament proceedings has also come down following the widespread public fears of contracting the infection in public places.

The visitors gallery in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha were sparsely populated on Wednesday, when Parliament proceedings resumed after they were adjourned for the Holi festival. Usually, the visitors galleries are filled to capacity during the session with long lines of visitors queuing up to enter the galleries as soon as a batch leaves.

Meanwhile, the Parliament Security Service Branch has issued a circular on regulation of visitors in the premises, with a view to reduce overcrowding.

According to the regulations, visitors to the public gallery shall be issued white coloured pass, and will have to leave the premises immediately after witnessing the proceedings.

A blue colour pass will be issued to casual visitors for the outer precincts of Parliament and non-restricted areas only. Red colour passes will be issued to visitors having appointments with the Rajya Sabha Chairman, Lok Sabha Speaker, Prime Minister, Ministers and MPs.

The Budget Session ends on April 3.

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