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All ready for voters to exercise their franchise

Special Correspondent
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About 5,000 officials will be on poll duty

Essential task: Ballot boxes being taken to various places in the Nilgiris on Sunday. – Photo: M. Sathyamoorthy
Essential task: Ballot boxes being taken to various places in the Nilgiris on Sunday. – Photo: M. Sathyamoorthy

Incessant rain, bitter chill and weekend holidays notwithstanding, the district administration is in a state of preparedness to conduct the elections to various local bodies in the Nilgiris on Monday.

The Election Observer Sandeep Saxena, the Nilgiris Collector and District Election Officer Archana Patnaik and the Superintendent of Police, S.Nizamuddin oversaw the movement of Electronic Voting Machines, ballot boxes and other poll-related materials to various polling stations.

Later Ms.Patnaik told The Hindu that arrangements for the voting had been made on a war footing by the Returning Officers concerned.

Polling stations

While the total number of voters was 4,88,281, the total number of polling stations was 410 in the rural local bodies and 402 in the urban ones.

Stating that the district has been split into 89 zones, she said that 200 government and private vehicles have been drafted for election use.

As many as 4,946 officials would be on poll duty.

Pointing out that 692 posts are up for grabs, Ms.Patnaik said that 3,039 candidates are in the fray. Elaborate bundobust arrangements have been made for the elections.

Extra security personnel would be deployed near the 45 polling stations which have been declared as sensitive.

Returning officers have been instructed to ensure that the model code of conduct is strictly adhered to.

Nineteen counting centres have been set up.

Our Namakkal Staff Reporter adds:

Namakkal Collector and District Election Officer J. Kumaragurubaran said that all materials required for the first phase of polling in the district on Monday for the local body polls have been taken to the respective polling centres on Sunday.

After inspecting the polling booths at Mallasamudram, Kumarapalayam and Tiruchengode on Sunday, the DEO told The Hindu that the number of sensitive booths in the district has been increased to 278, from 141.

According to him, 137 more booths were added as sensitive. Polling stations with four or more booths, urban booths with more than 1,000 voters and rural booths with over 750 voters have been classified as sensitive.

Mr. Kumaragurubaran said that over Rs. 9 lakh has been allotted for video surveillance. Polling on Monday will be held in 1,198 booths, including 150 sensitive booths, of the total 2,285 booths in the district.

Polling materials for the most inaccessible booths in the district at Kelur, Melur and Kedamalai in Kelur Panchayat at Venanthur Union in Rasipuram Taluk were carried atop the hills on Sunday morning.

Officials said that there are a total 1,022 voters, 511 male and an equal number of female voters, in those booths.

Superintendent of Police (SP) Pravesh Kumar said that nearly 2,000 personnelwould be involved in the security arrangements during the polls.

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