Assembly Speaker Shashank Shekhar Bhokta holds a meeting with senior bureaucrats at his office in Ranchi on Wednesday. Picture by Prashant Mitra
Ranchi, July 23: Legislators can no more take a bullock-cart ride to the Jharkhand Assembly.
With the monsoon session of the House beginning on August 1, the Assembly secretariat is installing as many as nine CCTV cameras at strategic positions on the premises to steep up security and avert untoward incidents. Apart from security aspects, the hi-tech digital eyes will keep tabs on movements of legislators, their supporters, scribes, bureaucrats as well as junior-rank administrative and police officers on duty when the House session is in progress.
All the cameras will be in place before August 1.
“CCTV cameras are being installed at various locations, including the main gate, MLAs’ hostel and portico. The decision has been taken to ensure foolproof security on the premises and avoid any untoward incident,” Speaker Shashank Shekhar Bhokta said after a meeting with officiating chief secretary Sajal Chakraborty, director-general of police (DGP) Rajeev Kumar, among others, on preparedness for the last session of the third Jharkhand Assembly.
He added an official each from the Assembly secretariat and the district administration would scrutinise CCTV footage live from the monitoring room and maintain vigil to pre-empt any unruly activity on the Assembly premises.
Sources revealed that the decision to install CCTV cameras was taken also in view of the bullock-cart drama staged by some JVM leaders and legislators on the last day of the winter session last year.
On December 20, 2013, JVM members, led by party MLA Pradip Yadav, entered the Assembly’s high security zone on a bullock cart in a symbolic protest against the slow pace of implementation of development projects.
The colourful and decorated cart, however, did not amuse Bhokta, who took strong exception to the JVM members’ move and suspended one marshal and four guards for the “security lapse”.
Speaking about the coming session, the last in Hemant Soren government regime, Bhokta said the state’s first supplementary budget for the current fiscal would be tabled on Day 1. But there is no plan, so far, to introduce any new bill during the six-day monsoon session. Effectively, the session, which will end on August 6, will have only five working days with August 3 being a Sunday.
However, Bhokta said he had urged the members of the Opposition and ruling parties to effectively utilise the time. “If need be, we may increase the daily business hours. The previous sessions witnessed disruptions owing to various reasons,” he opined.
The Speaker further said senior officials had been asked to upload on the Assembly website details of questions and answers raised during the House proceedings for use by MLAs, scribes and the common people.
Regarding assurances given by successive governments on the floor since 2000, Bhokta said about 50 per cent out of the total 2,500 assurances had been fulfilled.
He rued that the work on a permanent Assembly address at Kute village on the outskirts of Ranchi was yet to start. The Speaker and the chief minister laid the foundation stone for the same in January and its detailed project report is being prepared.