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Election Commission sets up task force amid heat wave risks during polls

The task force, comprising ECI, IMD, NDMA, and MoHFW, will conduct the reviews five days before the polling phases

Election Commission sets up task force amid heat wave risks during polls
[Source photo: PIB]

The Election Commission of India has set up a task force to review the impact of weather events before each phase of the polls amid forecasts of heat wave in the eastern and southern peninsular regions of the country.

The task force, comprising officials from the ECI, India Meteorological Department (IMD), National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), and the ministry of health & family welfare (MoHFW), will conduct the reviews five days before each polling phase, ECI said in a statement. 

The first phase of polling was held on 19 April and other phases will be on 26 April, 7 May, 13 May, 20 May, 25 May, and 1 June 1. The counting of votes will take place on 4 June. 

Ahead of the second phase of polling on 26 April and amid concerns of a low voter turnout due to severe weather conditions, IMD director-general Mrutyunjay Mohapatra assured ECI that the conditions will be normal in the 13 states and union territories for the set date of polling. 

The discussion was chaired by the chief election commissioner Rajiv Kumar along with election commissioners Gyanesh Kumar and Sukhbir Singh Sandhu, and was attended by additional secretary of the MoHFW, department head of NDMA, and Mohapatra. 

The ECI also announced that it will ensure comfortable arrangements at the polling stations like drinking water, fans, and other minimum facilities after a review with the chief electoral officers of the states. An advisory has already been issued on 16 March by the poll body, highlighting instructions regarding these facilities. 

ECI has also directed the MoHFW to prepare health authorities in case of unexpected heat waves. Public awareness campaigns will also be launched to educate voters on how to stay safe in hot weather at polling stations.

“The Commission has been closely monitoring the weather reports and will make sure the comfort and well-being of voters along with polling personnel and security forces, candidates and political party leaders,” stated ECI. 

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