Bhubaneswar: Around 2000 police and 2290 polling personnel have been engaged for the smooth conduct of the by-election that is to be held in the Pipli assembly constituency on September 30, informed Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Odisha, Sushil Kumar Lohani, on Tuesday.
Lohani said that around 340 polling parties are being dispersed from the Penthakota Warehouse in Puri today. They include 1490 polling personnel. Besides, 700 additional polling personnel have been engaged to ensure the implementation of Covid guidelines at the booths
Around 2000 police personnel including three companies of BSF have been deployed for the by-election. There are 32 Police Mobile Parties. They are being led by Puri SP, assisted by three ASPs and seven DSPs.
At least 201 booths have been designated as critical booths. Additional arrangement of a micro observer or central paramilitary force or webcasting or video recording will be done at such booths to check any untoward incident.
A total of 423 vehicles have been hired for the polling personnel, police personnel, and paramilitary force.
As per the guidelines of the Election Commission of India, all people engaged in polling duty, such as Election Agent/Polling Agent/Counting Agent/Driver, etc. have to be double vaccinated.
In view of this, the district administration had organised special camps at various places to vaccinate the polling personnel who had not received the double dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. All the polling personnel have been asked to bring their vaccination certificate with them while joining duty.
Lohani further said that a total of 348 EVMs have been arranged for the by-election. Besides, a sufficient number of EVMs are in reserve. Eight engineers from ECIL Hyderabad have been engaged to attend to any technical issues with the EVMs. Spare EVMs have been provided to sector officers.
Till date, 924 postal ballots have been received. Distribution of voter information slip by the booth level officers to every voter of the constituency is presently underway. People who don’t have the EPIC/Voter ID Card can visit the booths with other acceptable documents to cast their votes.
Pick-up and drop facilities have been arranged for differently-abled voters. Wheelchairs and volunteers have also been arranged at booths. EVM demonstration is also being held at various places.
In order to ensure the safety of voters against Covid-19, each of them will be provided with hand gloves, masks, and sanitisers. Their temperature will be checked before they enter the booths. Anyone with high temperature or Covid symptoms will be sent back with a slip to return during the last one hour of the polling to cast their votes.
ASHA or Anganwadi workers have been appointed Covid Nodal staff for each booth. They will ensure the implementation of the Covid guidelines at the booths.
Finally, the CEO informed three complaints regarding violation of the Model Code of Conduct have been received till date. The complaints have been redressed after enquiry. While four cases have been booked for violating Covid protocols, Rs 5000 has been collected as a fine from political activists.