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Coastal islanders of the state brave all odds to cast their votes

The voters from the coastal islands of the state brave all odds to reach polling booths and cast their votes.

Written by Anupam Chakravartty | Vadodara |
April 22, 2009 12:00:46 am

The voters from the coastal islands of the state brave all odds to reach polling booths and cast their votes. According to election officials,the voter turnout in the three polling booths catering to the island population of the state has been over 55 per cent in the previous elections.

“Out of 184 voters in Aliabet Island in Bharuch Lok Sabha constituency,at least 95 to 100 families use boats to reach Kaladra polling booth in Valia taluka and cast their votes,” said Deputy Mamlatdar D B Desai. Desai was responsible for preparing the voter lists for the island.

The district administration wanted to erect a special polling booth for the 184 families of the island so that they do not have to come all the way to the shore to cast their votes. “We have been trying to have a building for the purpose on the island. But it is difficult to have a pucca house on the island because of the soil quality,” said Desai.

Most of the people residing on the island belong to the fishermen community of Vanzaras. They live in makeshift tents and are engaged in fishing three kilometres from the shore.

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On the other hand,Bharuch District Collector Arti Kanwar said that soon a school building would be erected in Aliabet.

“It is difficult to have a structure on the island but we did not want the fishermen to come all the way. Soon we will have a school in the area,which can serve the purpose of a voting booth,” added Kanwar.

In Jamnagar Lok Sabha constituency,3,000 voters who reside on tiny islands near Dwarka and

Okha would cast their votes at two polling booths in Dwarka Bet.

“During elections,at least 2,000 voters from islands like Nora,Bhaidev,Kalubha Bet and Dwarka Bet turn up to cast their votes at the island booths,” said B A Ansari,Deputy Collector of Jamnagar constituency.

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