Hyderabad: In a bid to display the significance given to each single vote and accessibility, the Election Commission is establishing two smallest auxiliary polling stations in Telangana’s distant tribal areas which can probably witness solely 10 voters every exercising their franchise within the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

In order to make sure that the voters who earlier have been pressured to trek rugged terrains shut to twenty km to solid their votes are spared of the issue, officers stated the 2 polling stations will likely be arrange in as many alternative Lok Sabha segments within the state. Each station will likely be manned by six election officers, together with a volunteer and safety personnel.

Under Achampet meeting constituency of Nagarkurnool Parliamentary section, an auxiliary polling station will likely be arrange in a personal constructing in Mallapur ‘penta’ for 10 voters, which might assist them save a 20-km trek for casting vote.

Similarly, one other auxiliary polling station will likely be at an Anganwadi centre in Budidgattu in Devarakonda meeting section beneath Nalgonda Parliamentary constituency, which too has 10 voters. They earlier needed to journey eight km to vote, EC and district administration officers stated.

Overall, 10 smallest polling stations will likely be arrange in Telangana beneath Nagarkurnool, Nalgonda and Mahabubabad Parliamentary segments which have electors numbering between 10 to 26, belonging to STs–Chenchu, Lambadi and Koya tribes, who earlier needed to journey a distance starting from 3 km to twenty km.

Seven of the smallest 10 polling stations within the state have been arrange in Nagarkurnool District, they stated, including, a polling sales space has been created at forest base camp in Sangadigundala for 22 voters, who earlier used to trek 16 km to excercise their franchise. Another polling sales space has been arrange in a hut in Geesgandi for 23 voters, who earlier travelled 12 km to vote.

The voters comprise totally different households.

In Achampet meeting constituency of Nagarkurnool district, there are specific Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (PVTG) –‘Chenchu’ households dwelling in deep forest in small teams, Nagarkurnool Collector and District Electoral officer P Udaykumar stated.

These habitations (penta) include anyplace between 2-40 huts far-off from mainstream villages and don’t have civic facilities like roads.

They keep 20-40 km deep contained in the forest and because of numerous limitations earlier, just one polling station was once established contained in the forest for all these habitations forcing them to journey upto 20-30 km for casting vote, he stated.

“Each habitation is somewhere between 10-15 km away from each other deep inside the forest. At some places the voters had to start in the morning to reach the polling station and after voting in the afternoon they will come back to their own place probably by late evening/night. That was the scenario earlier.”

“They had to travel long distances to cast their vote. They had to travel a lot either by walking or if they hired any vehicle like auto-rickshaw it would cost them dearly. We ensured that polling stations are prepared in all the habitats. Now we have established the polling stations within habitation,” the Collector informed PTI.

Asked on the preparations and challenges, the Collector stated in few locations, the groups carrying ballot materials have to succeed in the polling station on foot because of inaccessible places of the habitations and in some instances, they needed to setup polling stations in huts because of lack of everlasting buildings deep contained in the forest, because of forest rules.

On the variety of personnel deployed on ballot day, officers stated every auxiliary polling station has 4 polling personnel moreover police and volunteers.

“We have ensured solar power in all the polling stations, drinking water and other facilities. However, it is a challenging thing. In more than 60 per cent of the places there is no communication channels. So we established our own wireless network (VHF radio sets) and we get information about the status of the polling,” he stated.

“These auxiliary polling stations are being set up for Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group done for the first time. This is an effort for inclusion of marginalised sections–Chenchu groups. These initiatives have been done for enhancing voter turnout also,” the Collector added.

Polling can be held on May 13 for 17 Lok Sabha seats within the state.


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