60,000 voter cards lie with Commission

Even as the state Election Commission (EC) is struggling to bring the city under 100 per cent coverage of Electoral Photo Identity Card (EPIC),its records reveal that around 57,000 EPICs are lying undistributed with the commission.

Written by Express News Service | Kolkata | Published: March 14, 2009 2:58 am

Even as the state Election Commission (EC) is struggling to bring the city under 100 per cent coverage of Electoral Photo Identity Card (EPIC),its records reveal that around 57,000 EPICs are lying undistributed with the commission.

According to the EC records,nearly 27,000 EPICs in north Kolkata constituency and 30,000 EPICs in south Kolkata constituency are yet to be distributed.

Chief Electoral Officer Debashis Sen said: “We distributed EPICs many times earlier but very few people turned up. It seems people hardly have any interest to collect their EPICs,” said Sen.

In the borough offices,however,thousands of voters queued up to get their EPIC cards and were harassed by government employees deputed by the EC. In some offices,there were only two counters for over 5,000 voters.

Sen said the huge response of the voters was sudden and unexpected. “This response is perhaps due to the election fever rising high,” said Sen. The EC has stopped the distribution of EPIC due to technical problems and will again start after few days.

“We will start EPIC distribution in a more organised way and with adequate infrastructure. We will decentralise the electoral registration offices to provide greater accessibility to voters,” added Sen.

At present,Kolkata has nearly 90 per cent EPIC coverage and the state little less than 95 per cent coverage.

EC to visit Bengal on March18

* The Election Commission,led by Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswami,will arrive in Bengal on a two-day visit on March 18 as part of its countrywide tour for assessing poll preparedness in the states.

According to sources,the EC team will meet all political parties on the first day followed by the Commission’s interaction with state and district administration on March 19. —ENS

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