DISTRICT Collector Naval Kishore Ram, who is also the district election officer for Pune district, on Monday urged industrial units, shops, business establishments and educational institutions to remain shut on Tuesday, when Pune and Baramati Lok Sabha constituencies will go to polls. “We urge the voters to cast their votes tomorrow (Tuesday),” he said.
“We have already issued an order to private industrial and other establishments to remain shut on the voting day. The government establishments will also remain shut on Tuesday,” he said, adding that all arrangements were in place to ensure free and fair polling in both Pune and Baramati.
The collector asked private firms —who feel one-day shutdown will result in big losses for them — to give two-three hours of leave to their employees to vote.
The district election officer said all schools in Pune district, including Maval and Shirur constituencies, have been asked to remain shut on Tuesday.
Ram said Pune and Baramati constituencies have diverse terrain and it was a challenge to set up polling booths and employing communication facilities. Citing an example, he said in Rayreshwar village of Bhor, the polling station is on a hilly terrain where they had to put up a ladder to reach the area. There are 82 men and 80 women in the village. “Similar challenging terrain are across the two constituencies,” the collector said.
“There are 69 polling stations where we had to make special communication plan. A proper communication plan, including providing wireless repeaters and satellite, has been put in place. All vehicles are GPS enabled,” he said, adding that 20,000 poll staff will be on duty on the polling day.
The collectorate has set up 12 Sakhi Matdan Kendras, which will be fully managed by women polling staff and women cops. Such booths will have a pink-coloured arch placed at the entrance for quick identification. “This is an effort by the Election Commission to ensure women’s equal participation in the electoral process,” an official said.
In Pune constituency, the exclusive all women polling booths will be set up in Eon School in Kharadi, Vidya Bhavan school in Shivajinagar, MIT school in Kothurd, St Mira school in Pune cantonment and Savitribai school in Kasba Peth.