Tribune News Service
Shimla, October 13
There will be extensive use of 27 IT solutions during the polling for the 68 Assembly segments on November 9 with webcasting from 2,000 booth, including the 51 vulnerable ones, and first time use of Braille voter slips for the visually impaired.
Addressing a press conference here today, Chief Electoral Officer Pushpender Rajput informed that deployment of 75 companies had been sought to ensure fair and peaceful polls. He said Rs 50 crore had already been provided by the state government for conduct of elections to the 68 Assembly segments, including 17 segments reserved for the Scheduled Castes and three for the Scheduled Tribes.
Interestingly, the percentage of the first time voters in the 18-19 age group has gone up from .94 per cent on September 1, 2017 to 1.49 per cent after the second revision on September 1, 2017. Similarly, the gender ratio too has improved from 957 to 964 during the same period. “The endeavour this time is to ensure use of IT solutions in the polls in which 49.13 lakh voters will cast their votes,” he said. He added that telecommunication companies had been requested to ensure good connectivity, especially in 14 polling stations in shadow areas, where there will be a wireless back up.
It is for the first time that the Election Department has set up a booth management plan where a building adjacent to the booth has been identified in case of an exigency. Use of helicopter services in the rural areas will remain an option and Public Works Department has been asked to keep the roads clear, especially in the tribal districts. There are a total of 7,521 polling stations with Kaa in Kinnaur having the minimum number of six voters. The maximum number of 1,889 voters is registered in Ward No 3 in Solan town. The highest polling station still remains Hikkim at a height of 15,000 feet in the tribal district of Lahaul Spiti with 46 voters. The constituency with the lowest number of voters is Lahaul Spiti with only 22,849 voters and maximum in Kasauli at 92,753. Rajput revealed that 30,084 polling officers will be on duty though the total number of staff engaged in the election process will be 37,605.
“A total of 78,000 voters have registered during the special drive between September 16 to 30 and all of these will be disposed off before October 15,” said Rajput.