More than 150 polling booths have been marked as “critical” in Pune district that has 21 Assembly constituencies under it. At a meeting of district administration and police officials, the election department estimated “a little more than 150 critical” booths and “no vulnerable” polling station in the district.
There are a total of 7,475 polling booths across the 21 Assembly constituencies — eight in Pune city, three in Pimpri, Chinchwad and Bhosari, and the remaining 10 in the rural areas.
The meeting held under the chairmanship of District Election Officer and Pune District Collector Saurabh Rao carried out a detailed assessment of the polling booths in all the constituencies.
“We should have a little more than 150 critical polling booths. Low percentage of Electoral Photo Identity Card (EPIC) coverage, high percentage of non-family linkage in one polling booth and missing voters without family linkage have been the main criteria in assessing the critical booths,” said a district election official.
In their assessment of the city’s eight Assembly constituencies, the officials found 48 polling stations in the ‘critical’ category. “The criteria was the same and we have found that the large number of ‘critical’ polling stations were in Hadapsar. The list was drawn from the respective returning officers who put up their worry list during discussion with political parties. There are 14 ‘critical’ polling stations in Hadapsar, three in Khadakwasla, four in Parvati, six in Pune Cantonment, five in Kasba Peth, five in Kothrud, seven in Vadgaonsheri and four in Shivajinagar,” said the official.
On assessment of the Bhosari, Pimpri and Chinchwad constituencies, the officials found 25-odd polling stations that could be called ‘critical’. The remaining ‘critical’ booths are all in the rural areas.
In the Lok Sabha election, the district administration had declared 108 polling stations as critical in the district, of which 71 were in the city.
The general elections too followed the same assessment criteria. For these critical polling booths, the district administration had appointed micro observers as well as some other supporting means for a thorough monitoring, said officials.