Model stations draw little attention

Model stations draw little attention

A colourful shamiyana to protect from the blazing sun, chairs to sit and relax, bottles of mineral water to quench the thirst...the two model polling stations in Dakshina Kannada constituency had everything ready to welcome the voters, but only a few came to know about the ‘rousing reception.’

It was the Mangalore City Corporation which initiated the idea of setting up two polling stations as model ones under its jurisdiction and the coveted recognition was conferred upon St Sebastian Higher Primary School at Bendoor and Govt Higher Primary School at Mannagudda. There were two booths at St Sebastian’s school and the total number of electorate was 2016. 

As already a ramp was there in the school, MCC authorities made another like a stage which was of little use. The mineral bottles were placed in front of the police personnel but none felt it was for the voters. "I didn’t know they have kept water for us.

If I had known, I would have gulped a little. but I sat on the chairs for quite a while,” told a septuagenarian voter Dominic Pereira. There was no notice or information put up to mention that this is a model polling station and electorate could avail the facilities arranged there. Mangalore South MLA J R Lobo was the first to exercise the franchise here at booth no 123 at 7 am.

The situation was worse in Mannagudda school where only a shamiyana and a few scattered chairs indicated that there was something extra than of a normal polling station. When asked where is the water meant for the voters kept, BLO Sreedhar said that he was not aware that the water is meant for voters. “Mineral water bottles are inside the booths, but for polling officials only,” he quipped. 

Here the shamiyana was used by two BLOs. Not many voters were interested to sit and relax at the polling station after casting their vote. There were three booths in the station with an electorate of 3,100. 

MCC Council Secretary Praveen Nayak, who was in-charge of the model booth, told Deccan Herald that the model schools were selected as both were Kannada medium schools. 

He added that the MCC has given adequate publicity about model polling stations through media. The voting percentage at St Sebastian’s Higher Primary School at Bendoor was an impressive 60.76, wherein the Govt Higher Primary School at Mannagudda fared a much better with 70.09 per cent turnout. 

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