Odisha CEO Reviews Preparedness On Covid Safe By-Poll In Balasore & Tirtol

Bhubaneswar: Keeping in view the ongoing pandemic and its mandatory protocols, Odisha Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) today reviewed the preparedness for conducting a Covid-safe by-poll to the two vacant assembly seats of Balasore and Tirtol.

Accordingly, CEO Sushil Kumar Lohani today reviewed the preparedness for conducting COVID safe election with Collectors of Jagasinghpur and Balasore district. In view of more polling booths this time, the requirement of the number of polling personnel has increased.

A total of 2768 and 2984 polling personnel have been appointed for Balasore and Tirtol Assembly constituencies respectively including reserves. This time two additional personnel including one ASHA worker are being engaged outside the booths to conduct thermal scanning of each voter, dispensing sanitizer and distributing gloves to voters and also for maintaining queue to ensure social distancing.

Lohani instructed the collectors to ensure sanitisation of polling stations prior to poll to ensure clean and hygienic environment for the polling staff as well as for voters. As per ECI guidelines special COVID kits consisting of mask, sanitizer and PPE kits, face shield, gloves are being provided to each polling personnel for their safety during the poll duty.

Accordingly 875 IR thermometers, 4314 PPE kits, 6.5 lakhs gloves, 7830 face shields as well as sufficient quantity of hand sanitizer, Sodium hypochlorite solutions, bleaching powders, soaps, paper napkins etc. are being supplied for election purposes.

Collectors have also been asked to engage sufficient numbers of vehicles for deployment during poll process keeping in mind the social distancing norms for safe travel of polling personnel. Accordingly, 855 vehicles of different categories are being deployed for both the elections. District collectors have been specifically asked to take care of all the polling personnel deployed on election duty to ensure their safety and well-being during COVID period.

Election Commission of India has issued a detailed guideline to ensure the safe conduct of Elections during the COVID pandemic period. In the Guidelines, special emphasis has been given to the safety and security of polling staff deployed in election duty as well as voters.

As per the election schedule notified earlier by the Election Commission of India (ECI), 16th October is the last date for filing nominations, scrutiny of nominations is on 17th October, 19th October is the date for withdrawal of candidature while the polling is on 3rd November.

With the counting of votes slated on 10th November, the poll process shall be completed by 12th November.