Chandigarh: Though Punjab Election Commission has no data on the exact population of Thirds Gender (TG) and lepers electors, yet efforts are being made for setting up of auxiliary polling stations to make their maximum participation in the election processThe commission, however, claims to have 273 TG electors in Punjab, but their exact population and areas, where they reside, is not clear.
To facilitate the TG voters, the election commission has directed Deputy Commissioners of different districts to gather information about them. The DCs have also been asked to make provisions for setting up of auxiliary polling stations in their respective areas, claimed Punjab Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) V K
Singh.He claimed that the auxiliary polling stations would also be set up for the convenience of lepers at different Leper Sanatoriums.
Over 40,000 specially-abled voters have been registered in different districts of the state and the DCs have been asked to motivate and educate them about their voting right. The district administration authorities have been told to rope-in NGOs for ensuring facilities like ramp, drinking water, toilets, electricity, waiting room, wheel chair and others facilities at every polling station, claimed Singh.
Out of 22,600 polling stations in Punjab, the election commission aims to webcast poll process at 3,500 polling stations. Interestingly, over 150 polling stations (to be webcasted), are facing the problem of either poor telephone/mobile connectivity or no connectivity.
A majority of these polling stations are located in villages of bordering districts like Pathankot, Gurdaspur, Tarn Taran, Amritsar and Ferozepur. Forests and absence of mobile towers are another causes of poor telephone connectivity here, it is learnt.
The CEO, however, claimed that the telecommunication companies, proving services in these areas, have been asked to improve phone or mobile connectivity so that the poll process could be webcasted.“They are also told to solve the problem by arranging makeshift (movable) mobile towers in remote areas, especially in areas surrounded by forests and hills,” added V K Singh.
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