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BMC polls to cost Rs 23 cr, lesser polling booths

The elections to be held for the BMC is slated to install lesser booths, reports Uma Upadhyaya.
None | By Uma Upadhyaya, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON JAN 28, 2007 08:01 PM IST

The elections to be held for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on February 1 will have lesser polling booths as compared to the elections held in 2002.

For the first time, polling for the BMC polls will be through Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs). A total number of 10,500 EVMs would be used in 6,951 polling booths across the city.

Where in the elections held in 2002, the number of polling booths was 7,989, this time it is only 6,951. Around 83.5 lakh voters will decide the fate of 2,357 candidates in the fray in 227 electoral wards of BMC.

"As demarcation of the wards have been done, the number of polling booths as compared to last year is much less. Around 75 per cent of EVMs have been dispatched to various polling booths," said Kalam Patil, BMC’s deputy municipal commissioner. About 42,000 BMC and government staff would be deployed for election duty.

"We have already started training the staff on how the EVMs should be used," said Patil. This estimated expense for this election has been pegged at Rs 23 crore which is Rs 2 crore more than in the elections held in 2002. Of this, the expenses on EVMs would cost Rs 4 crore.

Major expenditure would be on allowances to staff on election duty. The election budget takes care of establishment costs, expenditure on stationery, police bandobast and transport.

"Expenses on stationery would go up in crores. For example, in every electoral ward, at least 50 copies of voter’s list are required.

Moreover, there are other expenses on cloth curtains and other office stationary required at polling booth,” said BR Marathe, deputy municipal commissioner.

Other expenses include cost of police bandobast estimated at Rs 80 lakh and transport to cost a little over Rs 10 lakh. Moreover, there would also be expenditure on furniture like chairs, tables and benches to be used at election booths. The counting of votes would be done on February 2 for which 24 counting centres have been earmarked.

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