Tents, fans, ambulances set up at Karnataka polling centres to help voters beat the heat on May 7

05:31 PM May 05, 2024 | PTI |

Bengaluru: With just two days left for the second phase of the Lok Sabha polls in Karnataka, the Election Commission has made elaborate arrangements to increase voter turnout amid the soaring temperatures in the 14 constituencies that go to the polls on May 7.


The first phase of the general elections in 14 of Karnataka’s 28 Lok Sabha constituencies was held on April 26, and the second, for the rest of the 14 segments, is on May 7. From arranging shamianas and tents, additional fans and drinking water facilities, to keeping ambulances on standby and using adjacent rooms of the polling booth as waiting areas, the Election Commission is making efforts to ensure that the polling percentage is not affected due to the ”harsh summer”.

There are 28,269 polling stations in these 14 constituencies — Chikkodi, Belgaum, Bagalkot, Bijapur, Gulbarga, Raichur, Bidar, Koppal, Bellary, Haveri, Dharwad, Uttara Kannada, Davangere and Shimoga –which are going to the polls on May 7.

In this first phase, Karnataka recorded 69.56 per cent voter turnout.

Speaking to PTI, Karnataka Chief Electoral Officer Manoj Kumar Meena said the constituencies where polling will take place on May 7 are in North Karnataka region and the temperature is slightly high there, ”so we have made all necessary arrangements to ensure that people aren’t deterred from coming out of their homes to vote.”


He further said, ”It is a harsh summer, so we are making special arrangements to mitigate this temperature, (and the possibility of) stroke, dehydration… So, we are making special arrangements for shades, drinking water, fans wherever required at the polling stations.”

The poll body has also roped in ASHA workers and Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANM) workers to handle any medical emergency that may arise at the polling stations.

”We also have local-level health workers including ASHA workers and ANMs from primary health centres, so they will have basic medical kits to ensure that first aid is given to voters and polling officials in case of any medical emergency,” he said.

Ambulances have also been kept ready in a cluster of polling stations so that patients requiring more than first aid can be quickly taken to hospital, he added.

The priority is to ensure the safety and well-being of poll officials and voters, especially senior citizens and persons with disabilities.

Adequate number of tents and umbrellas for shade, and chairs to seat the officials and voters have been provided at the polling stations to ensure that they are not exposed to direct sunlight.

”All arrangements are being done to ensure that people have a pleasant experience and that the harsh summer will not deter them from coming to vote. We will do our best to see that people will not face any problem,” the CEO said.

There are a total of 2,59,52,958 electors in these 14 constituencies, out of which 1,29,83,406 are male, 1,29,67,607 are female and 1,945 are others.


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