The Telegraph
Sunday , April 6 , 2014
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Polling stations under web watch

Ranchi, April 5: Jharkhand’s chief electoral officer P.K. Jajoria will be able to keep a close watch from his Dhurwa office on the proceedings at 1,600 polling booths across the state on the three days of Lok Sabha elections, thanks to live webcasting.

Officials from the cabinet (election) department said the webcasting would be carried out via tablets with in-built cameras.

Arrangements of battery backup in each of the polling stations had been made, they added.

On the first day of voting, April 10, the polling process at 600 booths will be webcasted. On April 17 and 24, the third eyes will cover the election proceedings at 600 and 400 booths, respectively.

In the capital alone, live feed of the polling process will be telecasted from 180 booths located across the Assembly constituencies of Mandar, Ranchi, Hatia, Khijri, Silli and Kanke.

Speaking to The Telegraph, state’s chief electoral officer P.K. Jajoria said they would use GIS technology to carry out the web casting. YouTube and Ustream will be used to stream the live feed.

“Our main purpose is to streamline the poll process. Being able to watch the proceedings from our Dhurwa office will help us identify errant poll officials and keep a tab on voters,” he said, adding that they would also record the proceedings on all the three poll days for future use.

Jajoria added that web casting would be especially useful in keeping a watch on the poll process in booths located in far-flung areas.

“We are making arrangements to deploy paramilitary forces in sensitive areas. So, if we see any untoward incident in any of the booths, we will direct the forces to reach the specific polling station and deal with the emergency situation,” he added.

Ranchi deputy commissioner and returning officer for elections Vinay Kumar Choubey confirmed that arrangements for web casting were almost complete.

“Two days back, we had a meeting with BSNL officials and they have agreed to provide Internet connectivity for web casting. Two days before the polls, we will check the web cast facilities in booths. We are also requesting common masses that if they see any untoward incident on the screens put up inside the booths, they must inform us and we will take prompt action,” he said.

According to Election Commission guidelines, the chief electoral officer reserves full right to use surveillance devices at selected polling stations.

Notably, Lok Sabha elections in Jharkhand begin on April 10 when four constituencies — Koderma, Chatra, Lohardaga and Palamau — will vote. Elections in the remaining seats will be held on April 17 and 24.

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