CHENNAI: Hundreds of polling staff and agents of different political parties braved hot and humid conditions to discharge their duties on Election Day.
Though Chennai heaved a sigh of relief with daytime temperatures returning to normal after an intense heat wave last week, the weather was still sultry with humidity of 70 per cent.
A Rajesh, a polling agent stationed at Arignar Anna Government Higher Secondary School on Poonamallee Road, said sitting inside a polling booth for 12 hours in this weather was very discomforting.
“The problem is most of these school rooms are not properly ventilated. On top of it, wearing masks made it even more difficult,” Rajesh said.
R Varalakshmi, who was on poll duty at a booth in Porur, had similar complaints.
“There is no fresh air. It’s like sitting inside a microwave,” she told Express while stepping out for a breather.
The paramilitary personnel deployed also had to contend with harsh weather and unruly crowd in select polling booths at Perambur, Kolathur, Pulianthope, Chepauk and Villivakkam.
Some of these police personnel were from north India, who had problems communicating with local partymen and there were verbal arguments.
On Tuesday, the city’s Nungambakkam station recorded day time temperature of 34 degree Celsius, while Meenambakkam station clocked 34.8 degree Celsius.
However, people who made the best of the weather were small vendors selling cool drinks.
Most of the polling booths were swamped by watermelon and muskmelon vendors who did brisk business. They were also used by political parties to lure voters.
Many voters were seen being offered fresh juice by party agents.