Special Correspondent

EC target of 95 p.c. should be achieved, says Special Commissioner

SALEM: The Special Commissioner of the Election Commission (EC) C. P. Singh has expressed satisfaction over the progress made so far in the EPIC (Electors' Photo Identity Card) coverage in Salem district.

Reviewing the exercise Assembly-wise, here on Friday, Mr. Singh said that the district had achieved 73 per cent coverage, up from 55 per cent. He, however, pointed out that in constituencies such as Veerapandi, which recorded the lowest coverage of 64 per cent, Panamarathupatti and Mettur (68 per cent each) and Omalur (69 per cent), the coverage should be improved.

He asked the district administration to extend the photographing session up to 10 p.m. in these segments so that the farm and industry labourers, who formed a majority of the electorate, could avail themselves of the opportunity. The photographing exercise has been extended up to April 6.

The EC official also wanted the officials to make the public aware of the new timings. "The EC's target of 95 per cent coverage should be achieved," he said.

Salem Collector and District Election Officer A. Sukumaran said the district would strive for 100 per cent coverage. He said 60 centres would be opened from April 7 to enable the electorate to make corrections in names, addresses etc.

Of the 11 Assembly segments, Salem I and Attur recorded the maximum coverage of 82 per cent followed by Talaivasal (78), Yercaud (77), Edapadi (76), Salem II and Taramangalam (71), Omalur (69), Mettur and Panamarathupatti (68 each) and Veerapandi (64).

The administration had issued EPIC to a total of 15,98,178 voters so far. Of the total EPICs, about 3.76 lakhs were issued from February 12 to March 22.

District Revenue Officer T.P. Rajesh, Revenue Divisional Officers and Tahsildars participated in the meeting.