If all goes well, for the first time in India, homeless too would be able to cast their votes in the municipal elections to be held next year.
For, the Maharashtra State Election Commission (MSEC) has made a provision by which the citizens who do not have proper houses and reside on the streets too will be able to vote.
As per the provision, if any person living on a street in the constituency applies for a voter identity card, he would be granted one after the physical verification of the place where he resides.
"Our booth level officers (BLO) will visit the address the applicant mentions in the form at night. After confirming that the applicant is a resident of the constituency, he would be allowed to vote," said Chand Goel, additional chief secretary, MSEC.
Till now, homeless people were not allowed to vote owing to the lack of proper residence proof. Though certain documents may still be required, physical verification could be carried out for those whose proper documents are not available.
"A person can be granted the permission to vote based on two factors - confirmation of age and being a citizen of a particular constituency," said Goel.
"The physical verification will ensure that the applicant is a resident of the same constituency," he added.
The homeless were also counted in the February 2011 census. Though the official number of homeless people is not available, it is estimated that around 1.75 lakh people in the city reside on roads and nearby railway stations.