EC call centres in districts

In its drive to put in place a comprehensive poll related complaint redress system, the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer, Karnataka is planning to set up district-level call centres to receive complaints on its toll free number - 1950.

“At present all complaints are routed to Bangalore. We plan to upgrade the system and open call centres at the district level. The Election Commission has accorded  top priority to complaint redressal,” Chief Electoral Officer Anil Kumar Jha told reporters here on Wednesday.

The call centre, on an average receives 150 complaints per day mostly related to voters’ identity cards.

Jha said the EC has directed the government through the chief secretary not to issue new ration cards or select new beneficiaries under social security schemes.

Online applications for ration cards will not be received. The Food and Civil Supplies department has been told to close down its online application receiving system.

“No new beneficiaries for social security schemes like old age pension, land grants, Bhagyalakshmi, Ashraya can be processed during the period the model code of conduct is in force,” Jha said. He said decision in respect of applications seeking change of land use should be put on hold.  The model code will come to an end on May 9.

Jha said the EC has suggested transfer of deputy commissioners (effected on Wednesday) to ensure that senior and experienced officers are in place in key districts for smooth conduct of the polls.

“We wanted to ensure that the best possible services are available in the districts”, he said.

He said four lakh applications for inclusion of names in the voters’ list have been received since January. As many as 2.24 lakh applications have been approved and the remaining would be processed soon, Jha said.

The EC has issued guidelines for transfer of police and revenue department officials who have stayed in the same district for more than three years, he said.

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