Pune, Apr 16 UNI | 4 months ago

Around 65 lakh voters are eligible to exercise their franchise tomorrow amidst heavy deployment of as many as 52,000 election staffers who will man 7,258 polling booths at four Lok Sabha constituencies of Pune, Maval, Shirur and Baramati.

Election department officials said video sureillance system, static sureillance team and 200 personnel of the flying squads will keep a close watch on activities to ensure free and fair polling.

Saurabh Rao, District Election Officer and District Collector said, "The administration has completed the third round of randomisation of 7,990 Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) which would be transported to poling booths after final checking by the election department."

The department has also completed the process to issue election duty certificates to the staff, he added.

"We have put in place a separate SMS system to monitor the movement of EVMs. A polling officer will send an SMS as soon as the EVM reaches a particular polling. On the day of polling, officers will send the details of polling at 0600 hrs and subsequently after every two hours,' added Rao.

He said that, officers are required to inform about malfunctioning of EVMs and law and order situation in their respective area through SMSs.

As the polling draws to close at 1800 hrs, officers will again send an SMS informing about the number of people remaining at polling booth.

Special squads from the excise department will monitor the flow of liquor as Wednesday and Thursday have been declared as dry days.

As many as 1,041 polling booths which are on the first floor will have two helpers each for elderly and disabled.

While the basic minimum facility at all polling booths have been ensured, the department has asked Maharashtra State Electricty Distribution Company Limited to ensure no power cuts.

District Election Officials said, there are 108 critical polling booths and 82 micro observers. There will be live telecast of polling at 26 places mainly in Maval, Pune and Shirur.

There are 52 sensitive booths in rural areas, added officials.

There will be heavy police bandobast in the city to avoid any untoward incident for tomorrow's polls in four constituencies of Pune, Baramati, Maval and Shirur.

The entire Pune Lok Sabha constitency and some parts of the other three constituencies are under the jurisdiction of the city police.

Around 7,236 police including senior police officers, 2,665 homeguards, a company each of Central Reserve Police Force, Central Industrial Security Force, and state reserve police force have been deployed in the police commissionerate areas for the polling day.

Deputy commissioner of police (Special branch) Pradip Deshpande said, "Of the 669 buildings where polling will be held in the city, 149 are sensitive. We have depolyed one police officer and three policemen at those polling stations."

He said this time the city police have divided the 33 police station into 155 sectors as per the number of polling booths in the jurisdiction of these police station.

'We have provided a patrolling van equipped with a wireless set, one police officer and four policemen. A striking force of a senior police inspector along with an officer and five policemen has been created. We have also increased the number of divisional assistant commissioners of police from eight to 16, and zonal deputy commissioners from four to eight. We have also provided a striking force comprising an officer and 12 policemen,' Deshpande elaborated.

Police have got extra manpower comprising two deputy commissioners, two assistant commissioners, five inspectors, five sub inspectors, 80 trainee sub inspectors and 100 trainee policemen for the election.

(Posted on 16-04-2014)