HYDERABAD: At least 35 to 40 percent of the buildings mostly educational institutions which are going to be utilised as polling booths for the purpose of voting for the ensuing Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) polls on February 2 lack Basic Minimum Facilities (BMF).
The inspections carried out by the Engineering wing of GHMC in regard to the basic facilities in the polling stations found that about 2,500 polling booths lack one or the other minimum basic facility like lack of toilet facilities, drinking water, ramps, power supply, furniture, shamianas (tents) and other facilities.
As many as 7,757 polling stations have been identified for polling in 150 wards of GHMC. In the previous general elections held in 2014, about 2,200 polling booths founding lacking basic facilities.
A few days ago, the Telangana State Election Commission (TSEC) had directed the GHMC to inspect all the polling stations to ensure availability of adequate space, furniture, drinking water, toilets, reception facility for the staff and voters so that voters who come for franchising do not face any inconvenience.
As well as to ensure adequate lighting in the context of the shorter day lengths of February month. To check the status of switches, bulbs, and fans. If there is no power connection, it asked the corporation officials to make alternative arrangement and ensure provision of three pin sockets for webcasting facility at polling stations requiring such arrangement.
GHMC officials told Express that after inspections to the polling booths by the engineering staff, listed out facilities which are
lacking at the polling stations. The polling booths which lack any of the basic minimum facility would be provided based on the requirements so that polling staff or the voters are not put to inconvenience on the polling day.
Based on the requirements, Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000 would be sanctioned for each polling station for providing drinking water facility, electricity connection for lights and fans, cleaning for toilets and repairs if any, provision of ramps for free movement of physically handicapped voters and senior citizens, furniture like tables, desks and chairs, barricading and partitions for voting etc.
Already circle wise engineering staff have been asked to take up the works on nomination basis for providing basis facilities which require minimum expenditure, they added.