Elaborate arrangements in place for counting day in Odisha

Security heightened across the state for peaceful, seamless process of counting votes.
Image used for representation
Image used for representation

ROURKELA / JAGATSINGHPUR / JEYPORE / MALKANGIRI/JHARSUGUDA: As counting of votes for both the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections is set to begin on Tuesday, district administrations have made comprehensive arrangements to ensure a seamless and peaceful process.

In Sundargarh, additional district magistrate Ashutosh Kulkarni detailed the preparations for counting votes for the Rourkela, RN Pali, and Birmitrapur Assembly constituencies at the Uditnagar government high school. “Air-conditioned counting halls have been prepared for simultaneous counting of votes for these constituencies and their corresponding parliamentary votes. Each hall will have 14 tables, and counting is scheduled to be completed by 3 pm as per ECI guidelines,” he said.

Kulkarni also outlined the security measures, which include a three-tier security cordon with frisking at the outer and second cordons. “Para-military forces will be mobilised outside the counting halls. Separate rooms have been set up for counting postal ballots and electronically-transmitted postal ballots. The strong rooms containing the EVMs are properly sealed and will be opened just before counting,” he added.

Similarly in Jagatsinghpur, VVPATs from the Lok Sabha constituency and the four Assembly segments under it, Tirtol, Jagatsinghpur, Paradip and Balikuda-Erasama, have been securely stored in the strong room of SVM College, where counting of votes will take place.

Collector Anupam Saha said the VVPATs have been kept in the strong rooms under a three-tier security cover as per ECI guidelines. He informed for Paradip Assembly seat, vote counting will be held at 11 tables in 22 rounds, 14 tables and 19 rounds for Tirtol, 18 tables and as many rounds for Balikuda-Erasama segment and 11 tables and 22 rounds for Jagatsinghpur Assembly seat.

“The entire counting process is expected to be completed within five to six hours,” he added.

Similarly for Koraput, collector V Keerthi Vasan said counting will take place at two centres in Jeypore and Koraput. Briefing mediapersons on Monday, he said counting of votes for Jeypore and Kotpad Assembly segments will take place at Vikram Dev university while that for Pottangi, Koraput and Laxmipur Assembly constituencies will be conducted at Koraput government college, Landiguda.

“Counting of postal ballots will be done first followed by EVM counting for all the five Assembly segments at these two centres. A three-tier security system will be adopted throughout the counting process,” he said.

In Malkangiri, the district administration has made necessary arrangements for smooth conduct of the vote counting process at Polytechnic college here. Additional district magistrate Bedabar Pradhan said counting of votes will begin with postal ballot followed by EVM at around 8 am. For Malkangiri Assembly segment, counting of votes will be held at 14 tables in around 22 rounds and for that of Chitrakonda Assembly segment, it will take place at eight tables in 31 rounds, he added.

Meanwhile, vote counting for Jharsuguda and Brajrajnagar Assembly constituencies will take place at Jharsuguda Engineering College at 14 tables in 19 rounds. Security will be handled by CAPF personnel, state armed police, and district police to ensure a secure and orderly process.

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