To make the polling process accessible to voters of the Chandni Chowk constituency, Chief Election Officer (CEO) of Delhi, Dr Ranbir Singh, launched a hyperlocal mobile application on Thursday. The app, called ‘Vote Chandni Chowk’, has been developed under the poll panel’s Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation Program (SVEEP) and is designed by a group of students from the Delhi Technical University (DTU).
The app will provide information about the constituency, location of polling stations and length of the queue at every half hour. The app also provides information about pick-up and drop services available to the disabled and people from the third gender. Available in four languages – Hindi, English, Urdu and Punjabi – the app seeks to tap the cultural persity of Chandni Chowk.
Talking about the inception of the app, Tanvi Garg, who led the initiative, said, "During a programme on All India Radio, some live callers were curious about knowing how far is their polling station, how long would it take to reach there, what facilities are available there, how long is the queue at the station, etc. It occurred to me that we should develop an app to make this information available to voters."
"We decided to develop the app through a contest for students from technical institutions in Delhi. The contest was called De Code Chandni Chowk and eight institutions participated in the contest. We informed the students about the constituency, our’s and the people’s expectations," she added.
"The main purpose of all the government officials is to address the problems faced by the people. This initiative would effectively address the issues faced by the voters of Chandni Chowk," CEO Ranbir Singh said.
A screenshot of the Vote Chandni Chowk app.
Incidentally, there is another app called ‘Delhi Elections’, developed in 2017 by the Delhi CEO Office, providing the same facilities as the ‘Vote Chandni Chowk’ app. The app even has a section for the disabled, though no details are entailed about the facilities. On being asked by the indianexpress.com about the need to develop a separate app, Tanvi Garg said that the main idea was to integrate the youth into this electoral process and therefore, they decided to develop the app through students and not by hiring the services of some IT company.
IT Director at ECI V N Shukla said the Vote Chandni Chowk app will have a better user interface than the Delhi Election app and it will have additional features like candidate list and poll affidavits in the coming updates.
The application has been designed in open source and is capable to take 80,000 concurrent hits. The app is available on Google Play Store and will be available for iPhone users soon.