DEO office requests DRM Sealdah Div. to arrange special train services
Kolkata: The District Election Officer (DEO) of South 24-Parganas has written to the Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) of Sealdah division urging him to make arrangements of some special train services for smooth disposal of huge number of polling personnel in connection with the last phase of the Lok Sabha elections in Bengal on Sunday, May 19.
"After the conclusion of the poll process and subsequent submission of poll-related materials like EVMs, VVPATs and the like at the corresponding receiving centres, the voting personnel will start returning to their residences, many of which are located in far away scattered places from the South 24-Parganas district in which a number of booths are located in remote areas. Such large scale movement cannot be done by buses.
"So we have sought additional train services," a senior official in the DEO office in the district said.
The last local train from Diamond Harbour to Sealdah leaves Diamond Harbour at 22.15 pm. However, on Sundays, there are times when it remains cancelled. The DEO has urged the DRM to ensure the services of this local train at 22.15 or 22.30 pm and also make arrangements for a special train at 1 am on Monday to cater to the rush of the polling personnel.
DEO Y Ratnakara Rao has also urged the DRM to make similar arrangements for plying of the last trains leaving from Baruipur, Lakshmikantapur, Namkhana and Canning stations for Sealdah and special trains late at night to manage the heavy rush.
It may be mentioned that the entire Gosaba Assembly constituency under Joynagar Parliamentary constituency that has 257 booths and nearly half of Patharpratima Assembly constituency with 136 out of 293 booths are located in remote riverine locations. The district administration's elaborate arrangements have ensured that polling personnel reach these places 48 hours in advance.
"We have made all DCRCs weather-proof taking lessons from the 2009 Lok Sabha elections when 200 EVMs were damaged due to inclement weather and machines were procured from Hyderabad on a war footing to address the crisis situation.
"A large part of the district, being located in the coastal belt, experiencing natural calamity is always on the cards. So we need to be prepared fully in advance," the senior official added.
The Eastern Railway authorities have already responded and have assured to make the necessary arrangements.