A foul smell, long complained against but addressed with only quick-fix solutions, got too much for Rajya Sabha MPs on Thursday and forced adjournment of proceedings twice.
At around 11.30am, just as minister of state V Narayanasamy was responding to a question, Congress member Rama Chandra Khuntia complained of ‘gas leakage’.
As other MPs made similar complaints, chairman Hamid Ansari adjourned the House for 15 minutes. On reassembling, there was another adjournment till noon.
For external affairs minister SM Krishna’s Parliament office, located near the lobby leading to the Rajya Sabha chamber, the stink isn’t new. It apparently emanates from a sewage pipe passing by and Krishna’s office has been complaining about it.
So far, the Central Public Works Department has been offering temporary way outs, such as spraying room fresheners.
Urban development secretary Sudhir Krishna blamed the smell on the shutdown of ducts carrying fresh air into the air-conditioning unit by security personnel.
“With fresh air blocked, stink from the sewage pipe and waste from the canteen nearby circulated, causing the foul smell. We have reopened the duct and sorted out the problem,” he said.
Najma Heptulla, a Rajya Sabha veteran and another victim of the stink, said: “I have been complaining since I took oath this time (April 24). But nobody addressed the problem. My eyes would water because of the stench.”