Model booths world apart from regular poll stations

: The model polling stations of Delhi stood in sheer contrast to the other voting centres, both in terms of infrastructure and voter turnout.

While these special stations literally offered a red carpet welcome to voters, many of them had fewer polling booths compared to their counterparts in the same localities.
Till 1 pm on Thursday, election officials, polling agents and volunteers at these model polling stations visited by Deccan Herald, easily outnumbered the voters most of the time. But several voters had to wait under the hot sun at a number of other centres.

The facilities offered at these model centres left most of the voters pleasantly surprised. Almost the entire floor at these centres was covered by carpets. Colourful, clean cloth covering the walls and bunches of pinned balloons added to the beauty of these poll venues.

Directions to such centres were provided metres before. The stations contained big baskets with ‘dustbin’ written on them and signboards with directions even to the most obvious locations.

Ceiling fans were found working at most polling booths at these centres.

Large stand fans too offered comfort to a few people sitting on covered chairs in the usually empty waiting lounges for voters.

The presiding officer of a booth, Bir Bikramjit, at a model polling station of Janakpuri said these centres had all the arrangements as per the directions of the Election Commission.

“At regular voting centres, there is only one door. The rooms at model polling stations have an entry as well as an exit door. Voters receive all support and cooperation here,” he said.

On the other hand, only the official help desk outside the regular centres appeared to have any grandeur on them. In at least two government schools in Uttam Nagar, tent cloth was used to create several polling booths in the prayer hall.

Some of those with comparatively better infrastructure had chairs and desks piled on each other to create space for polling.

“The model polling station set up in the government school appeared better than the regular ones in even good private schools,” said Ranjan Tiwari, a voter in West Delhi constituency’s Janakpuri area.

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