Balasore, Tirtol All Set For Bypoll Tomorrow Amid Covid-19 Pandemic

Bhubaneswar: In view of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic all preparations have been completed for smooth and safe conduct of bypolls in Balasore and Tirtol Assembly Constituencies tomorrow, informed Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Sushil Kumar Lohani.

“All polling personnel have been screened. Only healthy polling personnel have been deployed,” said Lohani addressing a presser here today on the eve of bypolls to Balasore and Tirtol Assembly Constituencies tomorrow.

The CEO stated that number of booths have been increased from earlier 198 to 346 in Balasore and from 265 to 373 in Tirtol.

Earlier a maximum of 1500 voters were listed per booth which has been now reduced to a maximum of 1000 voters per booth so that there is no crowding in booths, he added.

Lohani said that polling booths have been sanitised and will be frequently sanitised tomorrow with sodium hypochlorite solution and added that polling personnel have been provided with Covid kit which includes, face shield, face mask, sanitiser, gloves, Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) kits etc so that they are safe.

“ASHA workers will be deployed to scan body temperature of all voters coming to the polling booths, arrangements have been made for facilitating washing and sanitisation of hands of voters. A hand glove will be provided to each voter for the right hand which will be used by the voter while casting his/her voter. Volunteers will be deployed at polling stations to ensure that voters follow social distancing norms while waiting in the queue,” he added.

The CEO clarified that in the event of any voter found to be having higher temperature or any other symptoms during scanning will be segregated and issued a token so that he/she can cast his/her vote in the last hour so that he/she doesn’t mingle with other voters.

Voting will begin at 7 AM tomorrow and will continue till 6 PM, he added.

He said that additional booths are mostly located in the same building where the original booth was located and in 12 locations in Balasore and 5 locations in Tirtol these have been located in nearby buildings as there was lack of space in the original building.

“In case any voter doesn’t have Voter I card provided by the Election Commission of India (ECI), he/she can carry 11 other documents allowed by the ECI for identity purposes,” Lohani said.
The CEO informed that 3,500 polling personnel, 800 ASHA workers and an equal number of volunteers will be deployed for the smooth conduct of polls tomorrow.

As many as 90 platoons of policemen with 250 officers and six companies of Central Armed Police Force have been deployed for the bypolls, he added.

“86 polling stations in Balasore and 155 polling stations in Tirtol have been identified as critical polling stations. These polling stations will be manned by Central Armed Police Force, and will be equipped for webcasting, videography, CCTV recording and micro observer,” Lohani said.