Voters welcomed with red carpet, buttermilk in South Chennai & Sriperumbudur

A nurse checks the blood pressure of a voter at a booth in Chitlapakkam.

Chennai: In most booths in South Chennai and Sriperumbudur constituencies, voters arrived before 7 am fearing summer heat. Apart from technical glitches which delayed the voting process at few places, the process turned out to be incident free.

At booth 61 in Ashok Nagar, the Voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) suffered a glitch which left many voters angry. They had to wait for more than 45 minutes for an engineer to come and replace the machine. An official said, ‘One of the machines was not working and the other one was slow.’ The officials claimed that the machine was working properly until last night.

Even as the engineer arrived and replaced the VVPAT, he claimed the problems were not major.

At Velacheri booth 101, the EVM had a technical error. The incident was reported at 7 am. Soon, the Executive Engineer at the spot conveyed the information to the technical team who took an hour to replace the machine after which polling began at the booth.

Some of the angry voters exhausted by the heat walked out and said, ‘We have been waiting for over an hour. We did not expect such inefficiency.’

As the voters got uneasy, arrangements were made to accommodate senior citizens in an air-conditioned classroom. A number of help desks were arranged outside the centres to help voters who did not get the booth slips find their booths easier. However, some voters were upset that the Election Commission and Corporation officials never issued the booth slips which could have helped them.

A model booth was set up at Chitlapakkam where separate cabins were set up with doctors, including a child play area

All the booths began the voting process on time with basic facilities in place. Drinking water, chairs at the waiting area, ramps for wheelchair users and elderly and toilet facility are some of them.

People from the Narikuravar community thronged the Cantonment School in Pallavaram to vote.

“We always ensure that people from our community contribute to 100 per cent voting and no one misses the election. But we are the least focussed with not even proper infrastructure development in our locality. We hope this situation is changed after this election,” said a voter.

A model booth was set up at Chitlapakkam where separate cabins were set up with doctors, including a child play area and there was also a segment alloted for distributing water and buttermilk. Voters in the booth were welcomed by spraying rosewater and were given kalkandu. Pleasant music was played which amused the voters who were also given a red carpet welcome.

Photos: C Santhosh

NT Bureau