At 94, Ratna Mahajan was one of the first persons to cast her vote at a polling station in Jangpura in south Delhi.
Mahajan said that with a rising number of dengue and chikungunya cases in the city, mosquito breeding was turning out to be a big problem in her area.
But Mahajan was not alone. Senior citizens turned up in large numbers early in the day to cast their vote.
Some, who were not sure of the poll timings, reached the poll booths before 8am. They were seen killing time by chatting with other early birds or by simply saving their space in the queue.
“I never knew that voting was to start from 8 am. I reached too early. Then I thought I would go for a walk and return later,” said Manju Soni a 67-year-old voter from Dwarka Sector 5 told HT.
Some had even come to the stations straight from their morning walk sessions wearing jogging suits. They said they were trying to take advantage of the shorter queues and the cooler temperature during the morning hours.
“I thought it would be best to vote early as the temperature would be low and the queues won’t be that long,” said Gulaab Devi 88 from Dwarka.
Issues including stray dogs, drainage and sewerage, drinking water, mosquitoes and waste disposal topped the senior voters’ concerns.
But not all were lucky enough. Some had to wait for long hours as they couldn’t locate their polling stations after the delimitation. A few others had to return to drop their mobile phone at home. “I had to wait for more than an hour as I failed to locate the polling booth. It has changed after delimitation,” said Madan Lal, a physically challenged voter from Milap Nagar
“I forgot that mobile phone won’t be allowed inside the booths. I had to return home and come back later,” said MC Saxena a senior citizen voter from Janakpuri area.
Several elderly couples were also being escorted by their children to the polling booths. At many booths, they complained that there were no facilities for the old. They had a tough time reaching to the EVM without help.
Even as Delhi witnessed a turnout of 55% during the 2012 civic polls, which was the highest in 15 years, the poll panel is expecting a turnout of nearly 70% this year.