Some will take ship, some climb peaks to cast their vote

April 15th, 2009 - 9:02 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, April 15 (IANS) Some had already embarked on a 35-hour journey through the seas to reach their polling booth and others were Wednesday readying for a long snowbound trek to cast their votes in round one of the India’s general election.
While some polling stations are situated at a height of over 13,000 feet, voters in the Andaman and Nicobar Island would have to travel for 35-40 hours to exercise their franchise, the Election Commission said.

“The Andaman and Nicobar group of Islands is one constituency and is 700 km long. Many places require 35-40 hours journey by boats,” the statement said.

And to make sure that all is in readiness for them, personnel of the Election Commission, which is responsible for the smooth conduct of the general elections, clambered on boats, helicopters or just walked for days to reach the polling booths.

According to the poll panel, 105 polling booths in Lakshadweep are accessible by boats only. In Minicoy Island, the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) were ferried by helicopters, said a statement issued here Wednesday.

In hilly Arunachal Pradesh, there are four polling stations that have just three voters.

The poll panel said the polling parties reached the polling stations on foot and they had to travel for three or four days from the nearest helipad or road.

“About 690 polling parties have been transported by helicopter to remote villages bordering Myanmar and China border,” it said.

Polling stations are also located in snow-bound areas on the India-China border. The highest polling stations are Thinghbu (at 12,148 feet), Mago (12,248 feet) and Luguthand (13,157 feet).

In Assam, porters had to be engaged for carrying the polling materials for five polling stations. Getting there involves a 40 km trek through an area infested with wild elephants in Bokaijan District, the statement added.

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