26.4 C
Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Punjab fully prepared for LS elections: CEO


 The Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Punjab, Sibin C, announced that the CEO office is fully prepared to ensure free, fair, and transparent elections for the LS Elections in the state. He emphasized that comprehensive arrangements have been made to provide all necessary facilities to voters and maintain a secure and peaceful voting environment in the state.

Addressing a press conference ahead of the elections, he informed us that there are a total of 2,14,61,741 voters in the state. These include 1,12,86,727 males, 1,01,74,241 females, 773 transgenders, 1,58,718 PwD (Persons with Disabilities) voters, and 1614 NRI (Non-Resident Indian) voters. The number of first-time voters in the state is 5,38,715, while the number of voters aged

85 and above is 1,89,855. He added that 24,451 polling stations (PS) have been established in the state, out of which 5694 PS have been declared critical.

There are 1076 Model PS, 165 Pink Booths managed exclusively by women, 115 Green PS, 99 Youth Managed PS, and 101 PS managed by Divyangs. All polling stations will be monitored by CCTV cameras, and there will be 100 percent live webcasting to allow real-time monitoring by election officials and observers. The counting of votes would take place at 117 counting centers at 24 locations, he added.

Regarding home voting, Mr. Sibin stated that consent for home voting was received from 9239 85+ age voters and 4530 PwD voters, both totaling 13,769. Out of these 12,843 voters who cast their vote until May 30, including 8640 85+ voters and 4203 PwD voters,.

Divulging the details about the personnel involved, he stated that the total number of staff engaged in the elections in the state is 2,60,000. This includes 1,20,114 polling staff, 70,724 security personnel (state police and central armed paramilitary forces), 50,000 supporting staff, and 25,150 persons working in the CEO (Chief Electoral Officer) and DEO (District Election Officer) offices.

He emphasized that polling staff have been trained to manage emergencies effectively. ASHA workers will be deputed to polling stations to handle emergency medical situations. Polling stations will be equipped with first aid kits, oral rehydration solution (ORS), sugar candies, medicines, ointments, and bandages. Additionally, to combat the heat wave, a ‘Chabeel’ facility is also being provided at the polling stations. He added that the 85+ and PWD voters who did not opt for home voting can get the ‘Pick and Drop Facility’ along with wheelchairs by registering on the Saksham application.

Regarding EVM security, Mr. Sibin stated that all strong rooms in the state are equipped with the necessary security forces, including state and paramilitary personnel, and have a double lock system. Additionally, LED screens displaying footage of the strong room surroundings are placed outside each strong room. Daily inspections by officials ensure all protocols are being followed.

Regarding security measures in the state, Police Nodal Officer MF Farooqui elaborated that 55039 personnel of the Punjab Police have been deployed across the state. Quick Response Teams would be positioned for rapid intervention in cases of disturbances. He apprised me that the whole state has been divided into 2098 sectors, each headed by a sector in charge assisted by a patrolling party consisting of 1 head constable and 3 constables. To enhance communication between security personnel, 3496 additional wireless sets of 20 Watts and 8385 wireless walkie-talkie sets have been provided to the districts, he added.

He appealed to the esteemed voters of Punjab to actively participate in this biggest festival of democracy, exercising their right to vote, so that the goal of “Is Vaar 70 Paar” can be achieved.

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