Watching legislative assembly sessions across India is equal parts entertaining and traumatising. Loud calls of protest, desk-thumping, mike-wrenching, and accosting the speaker are some of the antics that agitated Assembly members often indulge in. The soon-to-be inaugurated Andhra Pradesh Assembly building hopes to find a solution to the ruckus.
Slated for inauguration in March, the new Amravati assembly complex has been specially equipped with disruption-proof features.
An AP Cabinet meeting in progress. Image for representation. Source: AP Gov
Constructed by L&T and Ms Shapoorji and Pallonji, the assembly buildings include mikes attached to sound-proof metal and fibre tables so that they can’t be damaged or snatched away. Connected to the Speaker’s table via Wi-Fi controls, these mikes also prevent members from speaking out of turn or without the Speaker’s permission.
Thumping matches don’t work either, what with the high-density tables that don’t make any noise. Additionally, a six-foot-tall podium separates the Speaker’s chair from the rest of the House. Members cannot surround the Speaker, but walk up to the chair through monitored passages.
“You may not be able to see what all you witness in most of the legislative houses in the country and even abroad. In one way, it is infrastructure that is set to bring behavioural change among members, than the other way round,” an official told a Mumbai Mirror correspondent.
The inaugural session at the Amaravati assembly is likely to begin in the first week of March. The assembly complex will house the Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council.
Projects to develop Amravati into Andhra Pradesh’s new capital city are ongoing. The current secretariat and Assembly buildings are not permanent, and will be in tandem with the development of the rest of the capital over the years.
If these disruption-proof ideas are successful, this is certainly an idea we hope to see replicated in legislative assemblies all over India.