Sip cold drink, munch momos at select Lucknow polling booths! (Election Special)
In the land of nawabs, this election would mean comfort of a different kind -- with kiosks selling cold drinks, wafers and momos at select polling centres.
The Election Commission has zeroed in on select polling booths of the total 1,400 in the state capital which will be plush with facilities like cold drink, chilled water and even kiosks selling eatables like momos, wafers and other snacks.
Chief Electoral Officer Umesh Sinha told IANS that these special polling booths will be also manned by 4-5 volunteers from the National Social Service (NSS) and National Cadet Corps (NCC) who will "ensure that the voters are not put to inconvenience".
These volunteers would usher in the voters to the polling booth and will direct them to shady areas in the vicinity after they collect their voting slips. The names would be announced and the voters would be informed of their turn to vote.
A token system is also being planned.
Sinha said at any given point of time, not more than 15-20 people would be in the queue to vote.
These NSS and NCC cadets will be imparted training this week and taught etiquettes to deal with a "varied class of voters".
They are also being distributed special uniforms, which the poll panel officials assure would "be hep and corporate in look".
These students will also be taught queue management so that voters are not put through harassment in standing in serpentine lines waiting for their turn to cast their vote.
The idea, Sinha added, was to ensure a "pleasant voting experience" rather than the cliched tough and arduous one.
The Lucknow municipal corporation has been assigned the task of ensuring "availability of snacks and cold drinks" in the vicinity.
Special ramps are also being constructed in some places to facilitate the elderly and the physically challenged. Wheel chairs would also be provided and vehicles allowed to drive in proximity to the voting booths, officials said.
Officials say finalizing of these VIP polling booths was still being worked out.
Lucknow polls April 30.
Sources said that booths that would be elevated to the VIP status will be in areas like Hazratganj, Narahi, Mall Avenue, Jopling road, Nishatganj, Mahanagar, Gomtinagar and Aliganj.
With this arrangement, while the political parties and candidates may be sweating in anticipation of the poll outcome, a lucky few wouldn't be worried about the heat wave!
(Mohit Dubey can be contacted at email@example.com)
(Posted on 01-04-2014)