Security beefed up for Telangana Polls

Last Updated: Fri, Dec 07, 2018 09:55 hrs

Telangana: Elaborate security arrangements have been made for Assembly Polls in Telangana that is being held from 7 am in the morning to 5 pm.

Polling is been held in 199 assembly constituencies. The Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Telangana, Rajat Kumar informed that each of the 32,815 polling stations in the state will be manned by five personnel and one or two constables on an average. About 10,000 polling stations have been identified as critical and extra force will be deployed in these polling stations.

"Strike or cracking forces are positioned at strategic points in the State to handle any untoward incident. Two helicopters will be positioned in the State to airlift men and material wherever required and use them as ambulances following any medical emergency," said CEO.

Keeping in view the 'vigorous' voting awareness campaign undertaken in the State the State Election Commission has expressed hope that polling percentage may take an upswing compared to 68.9 per cent registered in Telangana during the 2014 elections held in united Andhra Pradesh.

Out of total 2,80,64,684 voters in the electoral roll 1,41,56,182 are males while 1,39,05,811are females.

"It is hoped that more than 70 per cent of them will exercise the franchise," said Rajat Kumar.

A total of 1,821 candidates are in the fray along with a few independents. Malkajgiri Constituency has the highest number of 42 contestants and Banswada the least with 6.

The CEO said that 44,415 ballot units, 7,557 reserve ballot units, 32,016 control units 4,432 reserve control units and 32,016 voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPATs), 5,261 reserve VVPATs are being used for the polling.

He informed that over 240 engineers from Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) and Electronics Corporation of India Ltd (ECIL), the makers of these machines, will be available, at least one in each Constituency to rectify the machines if they develop snags during the polling.

"A majority of the 4,57,809 persons with disabilities (PwDs) who enrolled, are likely to vote due to the new awareness created among them, and the special facilities offered to them such as free transport, grilled ramps, wheel-chairs, no-queue observance and special parking slots. A total of 29,541 volunteers will assist them for voting," said Rajat Kumar.

The present elections are the first elections exclusively for Telangana after its formation and for the first time, VVPATs are being used for all the 119 Constituencies compared to the last time when these were used experimentally only in Palair Constituency.

"Also, for the first time, software skills are extensively used for these polls. By downloading c-Vigil, anyone could lodge a complaint online against violations, and using Naa Votu, a voter could trace his polling stations, while Suvidha and Sugam, were used as a single-window facility to get permission for meetings and utilising vehicles," said CEO.

Rajat Kumar said that a total of about Rs 135 crores has been seized by the various departments in Telangana. "

"We have been also monitoring extremist areas and all the precautionary measures have been taken," he said.

The counting of votes will take place on December 11.