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Sunday, Oct 20, 2019

Rs 913 crore: Maharashtra’s expense for conducting assembly polls

Though the state government has made the provision for this expense in its annual budget, the expenditure is expected to go up eventually, as was witnessed during the 2014 Assembly polls, which cost ₹793 crore against the initial provision of ₹421 crore.

mumbai Updated: Sep 22, 2019 07:43 IST
Surendra Gangan
Surendra Gangan
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
The state has 96,654 polling stations, catering to 8,94,46211 registered voters
The state has 96,654 polling stations, catering to 8,94,46211 registered voters(ANI file photo for representation)
         

The Maharashtra Assembly elections, to be held next month, is set to cost the state exchequer ₹913 crore, at a time when it is already reeling under a debt of ₹4.71 lakh crore.

Though the state government has made the provision for this expense in its annual budget, the expenditure is expected to go up eventually, as was witnessed during the 2014 Assembly polls, which cost ₹793 crore against the initial provision of ₹421 crore.

The state government had made a budgetary allocation of ₹1,754 crore for poll expenses in its budget this year, including ₹841 crore for Lok Sabha elections. The Lok Sabha polls expenditure is, however, reimbursed by the Centre to the state.

“The provision made for the Assembly polls [has] accounted for the transportation, manpower, warehousing cost, besides the huge amount needs to be spent on the batteries and paper rolls of the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPATs).”

“The cost of batteries and paper roll for each machine is ₹1,500. There are 1.80 lakh EVMs and 1.35 lakh VVPATs estimated to be utilised in state polls,” said an official from the state unit of the Election Commission.

The state has 96,654 polling stations, catering to 8,94,46211 registered voters. The rise in the voters in the past five years is 59.18 lakh, with the women voters’ ratio improving to 914 for every 1,000 men, from 893 during the 2014 Assembly polls. The number of third gender voters, too, has reached 2,593, from 972 five years ago.

The election commission has also clarified that the citizens can register their names as voters till September 27, the first day of filing nominations. Voters can visit www.nvsp.in or ceo.maharashtra.gov.in or contact toll-free number 1950 to register themselves.

The state has 2,747 critical booths across the state with the highest number in Mumbai, Thane, Pune, Aurangabad and Amaravati. It has planned to deploy 1.43 lakh of its 2.05 lakh police personnel and officers, and 53,000 home guards.

The state has also raised the demand for 350 companies of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF), which consists of BSF, CISF, CRPF, ITBP. Each of these companies comprises of around 100 personnel.

First Published: Sep 22, 2019 00:16 IST

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