AGARTALA, June 26 - The three-tier panchayat elections in Tripura will be held on July 27, while the counting of votes will take place on July 31.
The notification for holding the elections in 591 gram panchayats, 35 panchayat samitis and eight zilla parishads will be issued on July 1. A total of 6,111 seats are available in the 591 gram panchayats, while the 35 panchayat samitis have 419 seats.
The last date for filing nomination papers will be July 8, while scrutiny will be done on the following day. July 11 will be the last date for withdrawal of nomination papers.
Sounding the election bugle, State Election Commissioner GK Rao today said a total of 12,03,070 voters are eligible to exercise their franchise in the panchayat elections and the model code of conduct, which came into effect from Wednesday, would be applicable only in the poll-bound areas.
�EVMs will not be used in the panchayat elections as there is no provision of using them in the local body elections. Polling will taken place on ballot papers,� he said.
As many as 2,623 polling booths have been opened to conduct the rural elections. District magistrates will act as district election officers, while BDOs will act as returning officers.
Rao said he had already held an all-party meeting to announce the election schedule on Tuesday. Besides, there was a separate meeting on the law-and-order situation in the State.
�There will be adequate security measures to conduct the elections in a free, fair and peaceful manner. Police will assess the requirement of security forces and take appropriate measures,� he added.
Inspector General of Police (IGP), Law and Order, Punnet Rastogi, who is assigned to look after the security arrangements for the panchayat polls, said around 12,000 security personnel would be deployed to conduct the elections.
Deficit rainfall in Tripura: Tripura has been facing monsoon vagaries with a heat wave affecting the State. There is deficit rainfall, leading to acute water scarcity.
The Meteorological Department office said monsoon rainfall in the State this year has been deficient by 37 per cent, compared to the normal average during the corresponding periods in previous years.
In 2016, rainfall fell short by 22 per cent, but in 2017 the State received 31 per cent excess rainfall in comparison to the normal range, said a Met official, adding that in 2018, the State again received 23 per cent less rainfall.
The declining rainfall trend and the resultant rise in humidity levels have affected normal life across the State, creating in its wake an acute water crisis, which is likely to worsen unless measures for water conservation and environment protection are taken on an urgent basis.
According to data released by the Met Department, the maximum temperature was 5 per cent more than normal, while the minimum was 3 per cent higher than normal.
The maximum temperature hovered around 36.8 degree Celsius and the minimum was recorded at 28.5 degree Celsius, on Tuesday.
Environmental experts attributed the monsoon vagaries and water crisis to wanton destruction of forest cover, rapid rise in air pollution and carbon emissions. �Unless measures are taken for immediate reduction in the carbon emission levels and massive reforestation, along with urgent and systematic attempts at checking pollution, a disaster may confront us soon,� added an environmental expert.