Two small polling parties, accompanied by mules, trudged through thick snow for about two days to set up voting stations for 500-odd electors in the upper reaches of Uttarakhand. While one team had to reach a height of 10,000 feet to reach polling station 84, under the Ghansali Assembly constituency, the “farthest” one was in the Badrinath constituency.
“Reeh polling station in Ghansali of Tehri Garhwal district had 275 electors while the one in Badrinath had 230 electors. The polling parties started their journeys on February 12 and reached yesterday,” Deputy Election Commissioner Sandeep Saxena said on Wednesday. He added the teams, accompanied by mules and security personnel, will take another two days to return with the electronic voting machines and other materials.”
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“There were a total of 479 stations in the hill state that fell in snow-covered areas, Saxena added. “Around 1,960 polling personnel went to these with 3,400 security men and 750 mules to carry materials. Even walking is difficult on the terrain they had to cover.”
Asked why they were not airdropped, Saxena said it was difficult to find space for choppers to land at that altitude although the option “will be kept in mind”.