Firm responsible for webcasting on polling day was ill-equipped: HP election commission
Sources said the firm, Epitome Corporation Ltd, had sublet the task to local firms who did not have power backups.india Updated: Dec 18, 2017 11:15 IST
The state election commission has pulled up the firm that was responsible to ensure webcast of all polling stations on November 9, the day when Himachal Pradesh went to polls, for its failure to provide the facility.
In its report to the Election Commission of India (ECI), the state election body has stated that the Gujarat-based firm lacked adequate manpower and technical support.
The inquiry has revealed that webcasting was done only from around 500 polling stations against the target of doing it from 2,307 poll stations in the state. Even in the booths where webcasting was done, it was not very successful. Webcasting of the polls was to be carried out to ensure regular monitoring of all polling stations.
Sources said the firm, Epitome Corporation Ltd, had sublet the task to local firms who did not have power backups.
Besides power, Epitome Corporation Ltd also did not have any server backup and on the polling day the server was down. Furthermore, it did not have sufficient equipment and at some polling booths it even tried to livestream the activities using tablets and laptops.
However, this was not the first election where the firm was rendering its service. During the Punjab assembly election, the firm had webcasted proceedings on the polling day. Five firms had applied for the tender, of which Epitome Corporation Ltd qualified on the parameters listed by the ECI.
“We have submitted our report to the ECI. Now it is for the top poll body to take a call on the matter,” said chief electoral officer Pushpendra Rajput.
He added that webcasting will also be done on Monday when votes will be counted at 48 stations across the state.
Sources said that after the November 9 goof-up, the ECI has asked the state election commission to ensure webcasting from seven counting centres (15%). So far, the state poll body has reportedly completed trial on about 20 centres.
For the counting day, the ECI has issued additional guidelines on the quality of cameras that are to be installed, among others. “Earlier, there was no specification about the type of cameras, but this time we have procured internet protocol cameras for the counting day. ECI will coordinate from the head office and other arrangements have been done by the district administrations,” sources said.
Meanwhile, an official involved in the matter, on condition of anonymity, said, “Despite the glitch on November 9, there was no financial loss. The security amount submitted by the firm is deposited with the ECI.”