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Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019

Thane district to set up 18 all-women polling booths

Polling booths will have drinking water facility, medical kits, ramps and crèches; physically challenged will be provided transport to reach the booth

mumbai Updated: Mar 31, 2019 00:28 IST
Megha Pol
Megha Pol
Hindustan Times
The Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC) has placed a board outside its headquarters near Shivaji Chowk in Kalyan (West), urging residents to sign and pledge that they will cast their vote in the upcoming polls..
The Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC) has placed a board outside its headquarters near Shivaji Chowk in Kalyan (West), urging residents to sign and pledge that they will cast their vote in the upcoming polls..(Rishikesh Choudhary/HT)

More than 47,000 employees are set to conduct the Lok Sabha elections in more than 6,600 polling booths in Thane district.

The district will have 18 ‘sakhi’ polling stations (all-women polling booths) and 18 booths catering to physically challenged. The polling booths in the city will be equipped with drinking water facilities, medical kits, ramps and crèches. Physically challenged will be provided transport to reach the polling booth.

More than 60.94 lakh voters will cast their votes from three constituencies in Thane district in Lok Sabha elections.

District collector Rajesh Narvekar said, “The nomination process will begin on April 2 in all three Lok Sabha constituencies. This year, the number of voters has increased. We will have to add 227 temporary polling booths to the existing 6,488 booths. We have appointed around 47,000 employees from across the district for election duty and the first round of training is completed.”

More than 5,400 employees failed to attend the training session and notices were send to them.

He said, “Four observers, general observer, expenditure observer, police observer and sweep observer (to observe facilities at polling booth) will oversee the election process in each ward. We have also planned ‘sakhi’ booths in all 18 assembly constituencies in the district. These booths will be managed only by women employees on Election Day. Our aim is to increase the booths and have the highest number of sakhi booths in the district.”

The district will also have 18 booths operated only by physically challenged employees.

Narvekar said the district has completed first randomisation of the electronic voting machines (EVMs). The machines will be sorted and send to strongrooms of each constituencies soon. The second randomisation will be completed after the observers report to duty.

‘Report election-related incidents’

The district collector conducted meetings with banks, hotel owners and printing press owners to report about any election-related events. Narvekar said, “The banks are supposed to alert us and the Income-Tax department if anyone withdraws more than Rs1 lakh from their account. The hotel owners will alert us if there are any election-related meetings or gatherings in their hotel. We will crosscheck if this expenditure is reflected in the candidates election account. Printing press owners will have to print the name and registration number of the press where any election materials are published.”

Facilities for voters

Following the directives of the election commission, the polling booths will have ramps for the physically challenged and pick-up and drop facilities for them.

Narvekar said, “We have identified 4,500 physically challenged voters in the district. They can approach us if they want transport on the day of polling.”

The booths will also have 300 litres of drinking water. “The women employees will be given crèche facility for the day at the polling booth. We will also keep a medical kit to deal with any emergency,” the collector said.

Weapons deposited

There are more than 6,000 registered weapons in the district —3,565 weapons have been deposited with the police department. The department has seized around 32 illegal weapons. Narvekar added, “The police have also seized 84,000 litres of illicit liquor. The Thane rural police have also seized 25 kgs of ephedrine drugs. Around 52 posters and banners have been seized by the police department and four cases of defacement registered.”

First Published: Mar 31, 2019 00:28 IST