KEEPING IN mind the unseasonal rainfall the city has witnessed over the weekend and a forecast of rain on voting day too, arrangements have been made to ensure that the rain does not affect voting in outdoor polling booths.
Shivajirao Jondhale, city collector and district election officer, said, “For booths in the open, we have set up tents covered with plastic. We are hopeful that the voter turnout will not be affected.” He was speaking at a press conference on Sunday.
“There are a total of 2,592 polling booths in the island city. Of these, only 95 are not on ground floors. The polling booths on upper floors are accessible by elevators. The city has 269 critical polling booths, for which all required arrangements have been made to avoid any untoward incident,” Jondhale said.
In the suburbs, barring 400 polling stations, all others will be placed on the ground floor, an official said. Of the 36 polling stations across the city, while 26 are located in the suburbs, 10 are under the city jurisdiction.
Jondhale added, “There are 21,000 officers and other staff members deployed to ensure smooth polling. We also have to ensure that there will be no problem in EVMs (electronic voting machines). We have given additional EVMs and VVPAT (voter verifiable paper audit trail) machines to each regional office. In case of any problem, it can be immediately replaced.”
People will not be allowed mobile phones inside polling booths. The election office has arranged for 521 wheelchairs for differently-abled voters. In 10 Assembly seats, the state election office has set up 10 booths that will have women staff.
Jondhale also said, “During the model code of conduct, our flying squad seized cash and articles of Rs 8.47 crore and removed 147 illegal banners.” In the suburbs, cash and jewellery worth Rs 10.36 crore were seized. More than 40,000 officials of the Mumbai Police along with the Central Para Military Forces, State Reserve Police Force and Home Guards will be deployed across the city. Of 9,991 total voting booths across the city, 261 have been categorised as “sensitive”, and will have extra police bandobast.