HYDERABAD: Polling stations in Telangana in all 17 Lok Sabha constituencies in the State will have digital coverage, including live webcasting, offline and video coverage. Chief Electoral Officer Rajat Kumar had issued a circular to all district election officers on Thursday evening, directing them to arrange digital coverage at polling stations.
The objective for planning digital surveillance at all polling stations is to increase voter turn out by instilling confidence among voters that they can vote without any fear. The initiative also wishes to check malpractice, such as rigging, and booth capturing, and to make the entire process transparent by inviting an element of deterrence.The arrangements would be made in a way that senior officials, such as CEO, DGP, DEOs and SPs, stakeholders such as candidates and members of the general public can view polling process at any polling station.
For Webcasting, DEOs were told to ensure that a minimum of 10 per cent of total polling locations should be covered by webcasting. Precautions should be taken at critical polling stations and that polling stations are covered with web cameras to ensure that webcasting can be done from these locations.
BSNL has been assigned the task of providing internet connectivity. BSNL would provide necessary equipment such as modems and dongles for connectivity. DEOs are also at liberty to tie up with Airtel/ Jio/Vodafone/Idea as per local connectivity requirements as long as the total cost of the connectivity is less than `2,500. This is being done with a view to prevent persons from creating nuisance at polling booths and provide transparency.
Offline recording in absence of internet
Wherever webcasting is a problem, the CEO’s office has asked DEOs to go for the offline recording option. It refers to the videographing the proceedings and storing it locally. It can be done without internet connectivity using CCTV, which uses local storage