Counting of votes in the Lok Sabha constituencies of Chennai is likely to be slower compared to other constituencies, on Friday.
The Election Commission of India has approved the reduction in the number of counting tables in three Assembly segments of the city.
“We have reduced the number of tables in Thiru.Vi.Ka Nagar, Kolathur and Royapuram Assembly segments from 14 to 10. The decision has been taken owing to space constraints at Queen Mary’s College which is the counting centre for Chennai North Lok Sabha constituency,” said an official of the Chennai district election office.
Fewer tables will reduce the number of agents thronging the counting hall. The number of rounds of counting will increase.
The results of Chennai North constituency are expected to be announced only after 8 p.m. Results of other constituencies with lesser rounds are likely to be announced earlier.
Over 1,300 counting personnel will man the counting halls at Loyola College, College of Engineering, Guindy, and Queen Mary’s College.
The three counting centres will also be manned by a team of over 800 police personnel led by an officer of the rank of additional commissioner.
Tight security will be in place from 5.30 a.m. on Friday.
With police teams, including paramilitary personnel, already manning the three centres, additional security will be provided on Friday. Anti-sabotage checks were carried out and a total of 15 door-frame metal detectors have been installed.Access restricted
Each counting centre will have six segments per constituency and the passage from the strong room to the counting hall has been declared a restricted zone, accessible only to paramilitary personnel on duty.
Only people with exclusive passes will be allowed entry to the centres and persons are not allowed to carry mobile phones into the counting centres. Counting staff have been asked to report to duty on or before 7 a.m.
The city police teams are on high alert as there is possibility of clash in some parts of the city, mainly Central Chennai and North Chennai.
Some teams will remain mobile to intercept miscreants and rowdy elements trying to escalate volatile situations while the results are being released.