Unlike the threats by goons and anti-social elements attempting to thwart smooth transfer of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and voter rolls in hinterlands, the state Election Commission faces a peculiar dilemma.
Time and again, monkeys in large numbers have proved to be a continued trouble for the commission, which has devised a new way to keep them away.
According to sources, the commission has decided to deploy langoors at its Kashmere Gate office to keep them at bay, and has come up with an alternative plan too. To safeguard the EVMs, voter rolls and other documents, it is planning to transport them directly to the various sector officers across the city.
"We have tried every possible thing to keep these monkeys away. Complaints have also been made to the MCD but nothing has changed so far. To ensure our documents and machines are safe, we are looking into the possibility of transporting them directly to the sector offices," said a State Election Commission official.
During the last municipal elections in 2007, the commission had erected tents at its Kashmere Gate headquarter to accommodate the polling officers. This was done to ensure all of them could gather at one place and the machines and voter rolls could be distributed amongst them easily. However, monkeys had created ruckus during that time by damaging two EVM machines and hampering the day-to-day functioning.
With municipal elections scheduled to take place in the first week of April, the commission is not willing to take any chance and hence is examining this proposal.
Sources further said that the work of checking the batteries of the EVMs is also being done inside shut doors to ensure monkeys are not able to access them. The officers working there have been given standing instructions to keep windows of their rooms shut throughout the day to ensure monkeys are not able to enter them.
Few months back, hordes of monkeys had also damaged the broadband system of the State Election Commissioner. The online system of the commission has been disrupted three times in the past nine months, affecting their daily work.