Convert Dharamsala building into e-Vidhan Academy: Himachal Speaker

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New Delhi/Shimla, July 19 (IANS) Himachal Pradesh Assembly Speaker Rajeev Bindal on Thursday sought conversion of a Dharamsala building into a national e-Vidhan Academy meant for lawmakers from across the country.

The palatial building at present functions as the state Assembly, though only for a single week-long session annually, mostly in winter.

Bindal made the suggestion during a meeting in New Delhi with Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan. was accompanied by state’s Members of Parliament Ram Swaroop Sharma, Virender Kashyap and Anurag Thakur during the meeting.

“We have assured the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs of continued support in capacity building of all 40 legislatures and even the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha for adopting the e-Vidhan model in their respective assemblies,” Bindal told IANS.

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Himachal Pradesh is the first state in the country to introduce e-working at Shimla and Dharamsala Assemblies in 2014 with the commissioning of the Rs 8.12 crore e-Vidhan Sabha project of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology.

The environment-friendly paperless process helps save approximately Rs 15 crore per year.

Bindal said it was now up to the Lok Sabha Speaker to take up the matter with Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Ananth Kumar to establish the e-Vidhan Academy.

Officials said then Assembly Speaker B.B.L. Butail had prepared a detailed Rs 100-crore project for the e-Vidhan Academy after concerns over drain on the exchequer for maintenance of the building in Dharamsala, 250 km from the state capital.

Taking up the case further, officials told IANS that Bindal is also keen to make the optimum use of the building by converting into a national academy.

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Bindal said legislators from 22 states had visited the Assembly to study the e-Vidhan system and shown keen interest.

The last winter session of the Assembly was held in Dharamsala in January.

–IANS

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