GUWAHATI, March 16 - The Kamrup Metro Election District has decided to make special arrangements for special categories of voters, including the physically challenged and senior citizens, to enable them to exercise their franchise.
�Special arrangements will be made for the physically challenged voters, senior citizens, nursing and pregnant women. It is a good beginning. We will be engaging Shishu Sarothi as partner NGO to handle the arrangements,� District Election Officer of Kamrup Metro Election District Dr M Angamuthu told The Assam Tribune.
He added, �Polling station-wise physically challenged voters will be identified and special provisions like reception and facilitation at the polling stations to cast their votes, provision of wheelchairs and guides, etc., will be there. Sitting arrangements and easy access to the polling stations for them will be ensured. Their special needs will be taken care of and we will provide all assistance.�
There are four Legislative Assembly constituencies under Kamrup Metro Election District � Jalukbari, Dispur, Guwahati East and Guwahati West. All the four constituencies will go to polls on April 11, along with other parts of Lower Assam. Officials said that special transport arrangements for such categories of voters are also under consideration.
Special care for the visually impaired, leprosy patients, senior citizens, nursing mothers and pregnant women is the priority, said Dr Angamuthu.
All the circle officers have been directed to identify these special categories of voters within their respective revenue circle areas. �Further correspondence will be made with all the special category schools so that the inmates and residents can be provided with the necessary support to enable them to equally exercise their right of franchise during the polling day. All necessary steps will be taken to ensure that all the polling stations within the district are barrier-free. The administration has also installed two helpline numbers to facilitate the special category voters,� said an official.
Meanwhile, the authorities have also beefed up preparations for the polls in the areas falling under the four constituencies located in the city. �The first level randomisation of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) of the four constituencies has been carried out in the presence of senior officials and representatives of political parties,� said an official.
He added that the Expenditure Monitoring Cell has been directed to keep strict vigil on spending by candidates and parties, who in turn, have also been briefed about the correct ways to maintain balance sheets and their accounts.
The Central Election Commission has deputed senior Indian Revenue Service officer Raghavendra Singh as the expenditure observer for the district.
�The Greater Guwahati Cable TV Operators� Association has also been warned to follow rules regarding paid news and advertisements,� said the official.