Poll officers still wait for EVMs as polling finishes in Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Poll officers still wait for EVMs as polling finishes in Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Highlights

The polling officials have to hike through large areas of lopsided terrain which is a huge challenge.

The poll officers are still waiting for EVMs and VVPAT machines, three days after polling finished in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, docked on small boats, to reach the Port Blair headquarters of the Lok Sabha constituency.

The last leg of the precounting electoral process will be completed on April 15, after several tough journeys going through shallow seas and coral reefs with officers carrying electoral machines and sacks full of papers having crossed sandy beaches and dense forests.

The reigning officer's journal will be put under inspection and appropriate documents will be completed up by officials, four days after polling was conducted at Port Blair. This procedure is generally finished on the day of polling itself, in other constituencies

It takes three or more days to reach after travelling by different modes of transport, including boat and ship, and even helicopter rides in certain cases as many of these islands are situated in areas. The polling officials have to hike through large areas of lopsided terrain which is a huge challenge.

Chief electoral officer of Andaman and Nicobar Islands KR Meena said "It takes around three to four days for all EVMs and VVPAT machines to reach us. In some islands, even after the end of polling, officers have to stay back the night, since sailing in unpredictable climatic conditions is not advisable. Next day, they take dinghies to the temporary strong rooms in the nine tehsils of the area. From here, the polling parties bring the machines to Port Blair in ships."

Officers have to paddle through mangroves infested with crocodiles on small canoes or take long routes through hilly patches to avoid pythons in order to reach hamlets in the interiors, in some areas.

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