Chandigarh-In anticipation of the scorching summer temperatures as predicted by IMD, during polling day ( ie June 1st ) of the Lok Sabha elections 2024 in Punjab, Chief Electoral Officer, Sibin C had issued advisory to all Deputy Commissioners-cum-District Election Officers to ensure special measures for polling staffs welfare.

Giving further information in this regard, CEO Sibin C said that following the various guidelines of the Election Commission of India (ECI), DCs of Punjab have been reiterated to ensure various arrangements for the welfare and convenience of the polling staff during the electoral process.

The CEO said that as the polling is scheduled on June 1, 2024, which is in the peak of summer season, all DCs have been categorically directed to take adequate measures to mitigate the heat stroke to the polling staff through various measures at the training venue, dispersal centres, polling stations and collection centres.

Apart from this, directions were issued for provision of shade, drinking water, waiting area, good quality toilets for both Men and Women at the training venue, dispersal centres, polling stations and collection centres, the CEO said.

He further added that in a letter issued to all DCs, officers asked for adequate Medicines (ORS etc) and para medical staff to be deployed at all the training venue, dispersal centres, polling stations and collection centres. Likewise, the arrangements at the training venue, dispersal centres, and collection centres should be systematic with sufficient number of counters, adequate staff, signage, coolers, refreshments, public address system, proper tentage sufficient to mitigate the effect of heat and transport facilities for poling staff to return to home once the Polling party reaches the collection centres and hand over the polling materials.

The CEO asked the DCs that clear instructions for depositing election material should be issued in writing in advance at the time of delivery. The arrangements at the Polling station should also be adequate with proper facilities of bedding, refreshments, toilets and mobile medical facilities for polling staff, micro observers as well as security staff (Both State Police and CAPF).

In the letter, the officers were asked to ensure suitable arrangement for food of polling parties where the polling station is located other than schools. The CEO stressed that due to heat wave warning by IMD, during polling day, the voters may turn up late in the polling stations, with possibility of long queue after 6.00 pm, all DCs must also make adequate electricity arrangements for lighting at the Polling stations.

The officers have also been asked for distribution of the honorarium to Polling staff, micro observer as well as Security staff (Both State Police and CAPF) timely with no complaints of late distribution. Similarly, immediate relief to any person engaged in election met with any accidents should be given free medical treatment (which may be reimbursed later) and ex-gratia as per the guidelines of the ECI.

While deployment of polling staff, the officials should make sure the exempted categories of staff as per the guidelines of ECI. The deployment of women staff is to be done as per the ECI Guidelines. The couple cases, where small children and old aged and diseased people are left along in the home, may be considered sympathetically, the CEO said in the letter.

The CEO further said that in order to exercise their right to vote, all the election staff deployed on election duty should be provided with sufficient number of forms for EDC (ELECTION DUTY CERTIFICATE) and PB (POSTAL BALLOTS) and their voting through Voter facilitation centres should be ensured in time so that the election staff can exercise the democratic rights.

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