1,970 security personnel deployed for poll duty; 128 booths identified as trouble-prone

Election authorities have made elaborate arrangements for the polling to be held in the Pathanamthitta Lok Sabha constituency on Thursday.

A total of 13,23,906 voters, 6,92,411 of them women, will be exercising their right to franchise in the elections to be held from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Pathanamthitta Lok Sabha constituency comprising the seven Assembly segments of Aranmula, Ranni, Konni, Adoor, Thiruvalla, Kanjirappally, and Poonjar.

The polling booth with the highest voter strength of 1,577 voters in the Parliament constituency is the Booth No-16 at the NSS Karayogam Upper Primary School at Othera-East in the Aranmula Assembly segment.

Similarly, booth No: 169 at the Anganwady in the Avanippara tribal settlement in Konni Assembly segment with a total voter strength of 63 is the polling booth with the lowest number of voters.

According to District Collector S. Harikishore who is also the Returning Officer, a total of 891 polling booths have been set up in the five Assembly segments of Aranmula, Ranni, Konni, Adoor, and Thiruvalla.

The two Assembly segments of Poonjar and Kanjirappally would have a total of 314 polling booths, making the total number of polling booths in the Parliament constituency 1,205, he said.

The constituency houses a total of 6,055 service voters and their Assembly segment-wise figure is: Kanjirappally: 289, Poonjar: 202, Thiruvalla: 818, Ranni: 441, Aranmula: 1,367, Konni: 1,416, Adoor: 1,522.

The Collector said as many as 128 polling booths have been identified as trouble-prone.

Micro-observers and videographers have been deployed at all these trouble-prone booths.

Model booths

Mr Harikishore said the election authorities had set up 10 model polling booths, two each in all the five Assembly segments, in the district.

The model polling booth would be having volunteers to help elderly as well as physically challenged voters, a nursing station under a lady health inspector and a health supervisor, pandal outside the booth for the voters to wait, chairs, drinking water, tea, snacks, toilet facility, display board to know the polling percentage and separate enclosure for feeding mothers.

The Collector said the authorities could ensure basic infrastructure facility at almost 97 per cent of the polling booths in the district as prescribed by the Election Commission. The Collector said a total of 4,387 polling staff had been deployed for election duty in Pathanamthitta. The electronic voting machines (EVMs) and other polling materials were handed over to the polling officers on Wednesday forenoon after thorough inspection at various centres. The EVM distribution centres had been set up at the Mar Thoma Residential School in Thiruvalla, St Dominic's Higher Secondary School at Kanjirappally, Mount Bethany HSS at Mylapra, St Thomas College at Ranni, and All Saint's Public School and Junior College at Adoor.

A total of 361 vehicles had been arranged for the transportation of the polling staff from the distribution centres to the polling stations and for their return trip after the polling process. A total of 1,970 security personnel, including a company of central paramilitary force, had also been deployed in the constituency, the Collector said.