In the narrow lanes between residential buildings in New Delhi constituency, voters lined up outside portable cabins to cast their vote. The makeshift polling booths were placed within the compound of the boosting station of the Delhi Jal Board.
Officials posted in the Baljeet Nagar polling booths said as the area is densely populated and there are no government buildings that could be used for voting, porta-cabins had to be brought in and placed as polling booths. Voters faced no issues and many were pleased by the arrangement. “It is easier for the elderly to cast their vote inside such cabins, unlike in schools and other government buildings where they would have to climb staircases,” first-time voter Nishant, who accompanied his wheelchair-bound grandmother, said.
Additional Chief Electoral Officer, Delhi, Neeraj Bharti said, “When adequate rooms are not available for voters and the election staff, alternative arrangements are made for their convenience. We ideally look for ground floors in public buildings, but in areas where they are not available, we make other, temporary arrangements.”
Bharti said such arrangements have been made by the EC for elections held previously. He said sometimes, people have been asked to cast their votes in suitable private buildings.
In Baljeet Nagar, 41 per cent voting had concluded by 3 pm. “We installed coolers in the cabins,” a booth official said.
He said the building in the boosting station complex could not be used for voting as leaking water kept the floors wet. “There were concerns regarding hygiene and the elderly could slip and hurt themselves. Porta-cabins are the better option,” he said.