Renovation of Assembly hall may affect budget session

Renovation of Assembly hall may affect budget session

The Public Works Department (PWD) has taken up renovation of the Legislative Assembly hall and its lounge at a cost of Rs 16.8 crore.

Renovation includes repair of the wooden floor, replacing seat cushions, painting, installation of new sound system and some minor civil works. While electrical works are estimated to cost Rs 11.3 crore, civil works are estimated to be worth Rs 5.5 crore.
Currently, electrical works are underway and the air-conditioning system and ducts have already been removed.

Official sources said the tender awarded for the civil works had hit a legal hurdle, following a dispute between the two bidders. The Public Works Department has to re-tender the entire civil works. So, the renovation is likely to be delayed.

As a result, there are speculations of the government holding the budget session at Suvarna Soudha in Belgaum.

When contacted, Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar told Deccan Herald that the budget session would be held at the Vidhana Soudha in Bangalore and the renovation would be completed soon.

Official sources said PWD had actually sought time till February 15 from the Assembly secretariat to complete both the civil and the electrical works.

Even if the civil work begins in a fortnight’s time, it is unlikely that the work will be completed before March 2012. But the government may ask the contractor to take up the civil works after the budget session and complete the electrical works before February, sources said.

However, officials are apprehensive whether the work can be completed by that time.

With KJP leader B S Yeddyurappa frequently threatening to pull down the BJP government, the chief minister is planning to present the 2013-14 budget (vote on account) in February, before going to polls. The term of the present government is set to end in May.

The winter session of the legislature was held at Suvarna Soudha between December 5 and 13. Almost the entire secretariat had shifted to Belgaum for the session.

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