Drive to be enhanced in the next couple of days to increase coverage
Percentage of voters covered by EPIC in Mysore is 74.78 per cent
Highest EPIC coverage in the district is in Periyapatna Assembly segment, at 88.01 per cent
MYSORE: The ongoing drive to issue Electoral Photo Identity Cards (EPIC) has been extended up to April 15, 2004, to increase the coverage among eligible voters.
Deputy Commissioner P. Manivannan, who is also the District Electoral Officer, said the drive would be intensified in the next few days and additional personnel would be pressed into service to enhance the coverage.
Meanwhile, the percentage of voters covered by EPIC in Mysore is 74.78 per cent as on March 20, 2009. The highest EPIC coverage in the district is in the Periyapatna Assembly segment of the Mysore Parliamentary constituency, where 1,32,785 voters have been issued EPIC out of 1,50,867 voters or nearly 88.01 per cent of the total eligible voters as on March 20, 2009. The least coverage has been in Narasimharaja Assembly segment where only 1,16,090 voters have EPIC, out of 2,12,023 voters.
The EPIC coverage in other Assembly segments in Mysore district was significantly higher, with Nanjangud ranking second in terms of EPIC coverage, where 85.74 per cent of the voters were covered.
The percentage for other segments are: K.R. Nagar (83.09), Hunsur (85.2), H.D. Kote (75.7), Chamundeshwari (74.02), Krishnaraja (64.33), Chamaraja (54.75), Varuna (81.74) and T. Narsipura (83.25), as on March 20, 2009, according to Mr. Manivannan. In view of the enormity of the task and the shortage of staff for the Lok Sabha elections, the authorities have decided to rope in National Cadet Corps (NCC) and National Service Scheme (NSS) students for election-related duties.
This is the first such instance in the country. “Only senior division NCC and NSS students will be roped in and they will drafted for assistance purely on a voluntary basis. They will assist the senior staff members on election duty, like conducting random checks of public transport vehicles,” said Mr. Manivannan.
He said doctors have been spared duty, but non-medical staff in charge of administrative duties would be roped-in. Non-teaching staff would not be drafted for election duty in view of the admission process for educational institutions, which will be on during the elections, Mr. Manivannan added.
The authorities have resorted to random checking of Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) vehicles to ensure that election-related publicity or other materials are not being transported through public transport vehicles.
Even the KSRTC staff has been directed to ensure that passengers are checked at random, and to report anything suspicious. Inter-State vehicles entering Karnataka from Kerala will be subjected to checks at the border check-posts. Mysore City police personnel have been given a refresher course and training programme on the measures that need to be in place during elections. A similar training programme will be conducted for police from Mysore Rural and Kodagu districts.
The authorities have registered 242 cases related to various offences since the declaration of polls and ever since the model code of conduct came into force. Of these, 192 cases were registered in Mysore City alone while there were 29 cases from Mysore Rural and 21 cases from Kodagu. A majority of the cases — 177 in all — related to offences registered under CRPC Act Section 107, pertaining to breach of peace in public.
A booklet on the model code of conduct was also released by Mr. Manivannan, which will be distributed to political parties and aspirants. The Commissioner of Police, Parashivamurthy, was also present.