The Election Commission has an ‘elephantine problem’ in Hassan. To ensure a peaceful polling on Sunday, the commission has taken steps to protect the election staff and voters from elephants in areas frequented by elephants in Alur, Sakleshpur and Arkalgud taluks.

The Election Commission in association with the Forest Department has identified 75 booths in areas frequented by elephants. These booths are spread across Alur, Sakleshpur and Arkalgud taluks.

Deputy Conservator of Forests R.N. Lakshman told The Hindu that a special patrolling troupe had been appointed to keep vigil in areas frequented by elephants. The department has deployed its employees posted in other taluks for the election duty.

“The district administration has sent buses carrying election staff in 22 routes in areas affected by elephant menace. Our teams have reached all the staff to their respective places safely. We have constituted 39 teams to keep vigil on the movement of elephants around the polling stations”, he said.

The Forest Department Officers had placed boards, posters at many places on ‘Dos and Don’ts’ in the affected areas. The election staff had been instructed not to come out of their places in the night, inform the forest department officials immediately if they notice elephants and not to take any steps to drive away elephants on their own.

“We have given necessary instructions to be followed in the areas affected by elephant menace. Our staff members will be always on the move in 26 vehicles. Each of the vehicles has four to five employees. They will rush to the spot as soon as they get the information of any untoward incident”, said the Deputy Conservator of Forests.

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