EC asks district, state admin to finish pending works by February 10
Kolkata: In a clear indication that the dates of Assembly polls scheduled in Bengal may be announced in the second or latest by the third week of February, the Election Commission has asked all the district and state administration to complete their pending works by February 10.
Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of the state, Ariz Aftab, had held a meeting with the state police department and the DEOs. He is likely to meet the central agencies by the end of this week regarding completion of all the pending works before the announcement of the polls.
This year, there has been a 30 per cent increase in the number of booths due to the Covid situation. The number of booths has increased from 78903 to a whopping 101790. Around 47000 to 50000 additional polling personnel will be deployed for management of the booths.
The Commission has also directed that 2,950 booths, which were on the first floor, will have to be brought down to the ground floor. "Moreover, as some of the schools particularly in South 24-Parganas, North 24-Parganas and East Midnapore were damaged because of Amphan, the Election Commission wants all the booths to be ready for the poll," a Commission official said.
Aftab held a video conference with the District Electoral Officers (who are the DMs of the state) recently, asking them to send a detailed profile of the booths by February 10. "The Commission has asked to complete arrangements for all the amenities like building ramps, connection of electricity, water facility, resting place, among others by February 10 and send a report to the Commission by next week," a District Magistrate, who attended the meeting, said.
The CEO has already sent the details of the state police and their transfers to the Election Commission already.
The CEO will hold a virtual conference with the 20 central agencies including ED, Customs, Airport Authority, Excise, BSF, CRPF, Metro Rail and Railways on February 5 so that they can effectively take part in the election mechanism.
The Commission has already directed all the agencies to increase naka checking in the bordering areas.