'Repair underway in schools identified as booths'

'Repair underway in schools identified as booths'

The repair and development works have been initiated in 273 government schools identified as polling booths in Dakshina Kannada district by the district election office, Sveep Comittee Chairman and Zilla Panchayat Chief Executive Officer Selvamani R said.

Responding to queries during the phone-in programme, He said basic facilities, including fans, water supply, ramps and minor repair works, had been taken up at a cost of around Rs 70 lakh. He said the authorities had released Rs 63.44 Lakh.

In addition, the Zilla Panchayat had spent Rs 5 lakh to Rs 6 lakh from different sources to take up the works. The work on repair of windows, doors, electricity connections had also been taken up. The CEO said they had requested managing director of Mescom to ensure uninterrupted power on the day of polling. In case of any breakdown, the linemen had been asked to remain in station to rectify the problems in interior villages.

Service voters

On Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballot System (ETBS), he said the authorities had generated e-ballots for 518 service voters for the Lok Sabha election in Dakshina Kannada constituency.

The ETBS was introduced by the Election Commission for service voters. The system enables a service voter, especially soldiers, to exercise his or her franchise using the electronically received postal ballot. The voters can download the postal ballot and votes cast will be received by the returning officer through post.

Replying to a query on voting rights from jail inmates, the CEO clarified that only those who are under preventive detention are allowed to exercise their franchise. Undertrials and convicted do not have right to exercise their franchise.

Assistant Returning Officer Gayathri Nayak said that BLOs (Booth Level Officers) have started distributing voter slips to households. Along with voter slips, a voter should produce either EPIC or any other 11 documents identified by the ECI, while exercising their franchise. The newly registered voters will get EPIC within a day or two, as authorities had begun to distribute the new EPIC.

The polling officials have warned that vehicles that display any slogan or advertisement promoting any political parties would be seized. Use of vehicles with such slogans and advertisements that can influence voters has come to the notice of the deputy commissioner.

Display of such items without prior permission from the competent authority amounts to violation of the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act and Rules.

To a query on senior citizens and pregnant women made to stand in a queue while casting their votes, the CEO said that priority would be given to pregnant women and woman carrying children to cast their vote. Wheelchairs had been arranged at the polling booth for the benefit of senior citizens and physically challenged persons among others.

‘Shamiyana’ (Pandals) will be put up at the polling booths to provide relief to voters standing in a queue in scorching sun.

Bus fare hike

When caller Rajesh Kadri drew the CEO’s attention to fares being hiked by private bus transporters, the latter promised to apprise Deputy Commissioner who is also the District Election Officer and initiate action against such private buses that charge exorbitant fare.