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Getting voter IDs to become easy

The Delhi government is to set up 70 permanent voter registration and electoral photo identity card (EPIC) centers for each assembly constituency, reports Amitabh Shukla.

india Updated: Oct 18, 2006 22:17 IST
Amitabh Shukla
Amitabh Shukla

Getting a voter's identity card would soon become hassle free. The Delhi Cabinet on Monday decided to set up 70 permanent voter registration and electoral photo identity card (EPIC) centres, one each in every assembly constituency.

The Cabinet has also given its approval for creation of 140 posts in different scales to facilitate the working of these electoral offices.

Election officials said that dedicated staff for election related work and permanent offices would put an end to the practice of utilising the services of temporary staff of Food and Supplies Department. It would also put an end to the practice of using government schools, which hampers education to the children.

Speaking to the reporters, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said these measures would also facilitate implementation of the latest mandate of the Election Commission of India to prepare photo electoral rolls from March 2008 onwards.

Voters in Delhi100 lakhs
Parliamentary constituencies7
Assembly constituencies70
Polling stations9,500
EPIC cards prepared63.5 lakhs (data images of 27 lakhs is irretrievable due to poor storage)
EPIC cards to be prepared37 lakhs
Photo electoral rollsTo be prepared

"The functioning of permanent offices would go a long way in updating electoral rolls, preparation and issuance of photo identity cards to ensure free and fair elections," she said.

The Cabinet note said the workload of election related activities in Delhi was enormous and continuous in nature, which required permanent offices. The note prepared by the Chief Electoral Officer Satbir Silas Bedi said that Delhi had a unique demographic character wherein there was a higher rate of migration of people from one polling station to another and from one assembly constituency to another.

"It is estimated that 10 per cent of voters in each assembly constituency change every year and the electoral roll has to be modified and updated," said the note.

This would mean that 15,000 citizens per year in an assembly constituency or 50 voters per day would be requiring the services of each permanent office for updating and correction in the electoral rolls.

The electoral office admitted that in the earlier campaigns for modification of electoral rolls and preparation of EPIC, the response from people belonging to the middle, upper middle and upper class of the society had been poor.

"Poor location, long distances, poor facilities and poor ambience in these offices is the reason," the cabinet note said, adding that this would be corrected.

The financial implications of the entire procedure is still being worked out. Apart from creating 140 posts and paying salary to the employees, the department would also hire private buildings for the setting up of the election offices. "The financial implication would be worked out soon," an official said.

First Published: Oct 18, 2006 22:17 IST