At a time when the Election Commission is keen on setting up polling stations within a radius of 2 km of the voter’s residence, people residing in Hope Island, an island situated off the coast of Kakinada, are forced to undertake a tedious journey to exercise their franchise. Of the total population of 343 in the fishermen hamlet located on the island, there are 101 male voters and 115 female voters, who have to reach their polling station at Chinna Boddu Venkatayapalem village, near Tallarevu.
From their hamlet, the voters, including the aged and pregnant, have to reach Kakinada by boat. This journey takes nearly two hours. From Kakinada, all of them have to depend on private transport to reach the polling station, as public transport is not available from Kakinada shore to Chinna Boddu Venkatayapalem village. All these voters belong to Mummidivaram Legislative Assembly constituency, which is a part of the Amalapuram Parliamentary constituency.
According to a resident of Hope Island, a polling station was set up on the island only once when the late N.T. Rama Rao contested the elections for the first time (in 1983). Since then, voters have been casting their vote somewhere in Tallarevu. Despite several requests, there is no response from the officials concerned to arrange for polling facility in the hamlet. Interestingly, district officials have arranged for polling stations in hamlets like Kondamodalu, Manturu and Talluru in Devipatnam mandal, where polling staff can reach only by boat.