The limit of voters falling in a polling booth has been reduced from existing 1,400 to 1,200
Ahead of the State Assembly elections, due early next year, Punjab Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) S. Karuna Raju on Tuesday said that after rationalisation in the backdrop of COVID-19 pandemic situation, the number of polling booths in the State has been increased to 24,689 from the existing 23,211.
Mr. Raju said that due to the COVID pandemic, the limit of voters falling in a polling booth has been reduced from existing 1,400 to 1,200, which has resulted in increasing in the number of polling booths across the State.
Mr. Raju said that The Election Commission of India (ECI) has given its concurrence to arrange additional Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) required for the ensuing Assembly election in Punjab.
“10,500 Control Units and 21,100 Voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPATs) are being transported from different districts of Madhya Pradesh to various districts of Punjab. With the addition of these machines, Punjab will have 45,316 Ballot Units , 34,942 Controlling Units and 37,576 VVPAT machines,” he said, adding the EVMs are being transported duly adopting the Standard operating Procedures set by the ECI.
Mr. Raju said that district wise Nodal Officers are picking up these machines from Madhaya Pradesh in GPS fitted special transport containers under tight security after proper scanning. “In 10 districts of Punjab namely Pathankot, Gurdaspur, Tarn Taran, Kapurthala, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Ferozepur, Sri Mukatsar Sahib, Mansa and Amritsar, the EVM-VVPAT have safely reached the district headquarters adding that in rest of the districts, these machines will be reached within two days,” he said.
He added that the First Level Checking of these machines will be undertaken in the presence of representatives of recognised national and State political parties in prescribed time as per the stipulated SOP. “Warehouses have been set up across the State in which multi-tier security arrangements have been made along with installation of the CCTV cameras. Amidst the prevailing pandemic all precautions are also being implemented strictly,” he said.
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