District Collector Mini Antony has said that 139 polling stations in 52 centres in the district have been identified as “sensitive” for the ensuing elections to the local bodies.

Speaking to mediapersons about the arrangements being made for the elections scheduled for coming Monday, the collector said special security arrangements would be made for these stations. The largest number of seven sensitive polling stations come under Kottayam West police station limits, followed by six polling stations under the Erattupetta police station limit.

The elections will be held through 2,272 polling stations spread over 1,180 wards in the 73 grama panchayats and 193 polling stations in the 137 wards in the four municipalities. The polling in the four municipalities will be held using electronic voting machines (EVMs), while at the grama panchayat level, it would be in the traditional manner through ballot papers.

“The 2,475 ballot boxes allotted to the district by the State Election Commission and 4,800 boxes provided by the Union Election Commission (which are smaller in size) are available for the purpose,” Ms Antony said. There are 18,569 polling officers in the district, who would ensure smooth conduct of the elections. She said more than 5,000 polling personnel have completed their training.

There are 15 counting stations in the district, including the four at the municipal level and 11 at the block panchayat level. The early results expected on October 27 are from Pala municipality. Among the municipalities, Kottayam which needs six rounds of counting, will be the last to get the complete results.

A. Shajahan, Rural Development Commissioner (Mobile No. 9995508800) is the general observer for the district. Four Expenditure Observers have also taken charge.

According to the collector, the printing of ballot papers for the elections is almost complete and the respective returning officers have placed the papers with the concerned treasury offices. The applications for postal ballots to the grama and block panchayats should be addressed to the respective returning officers while that for the district panchayat division can be addressed either to the District Collector or the respective block panchayat returning officer, she said.

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