No queues in Jalpaiguri’s 28 model poll booths

Kolkata, April 16: The electorate in 28 polling booths of West Bengal’s Jalpaiguri district will be in for a pleasant voting experience Thursday sans the hassle of queues, thanks to the Election Commission’s decision to declare them as model polling stations.

Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri, Cooch Behar and Alipurduar parliamentary constituencies go to the hustings in the first phase Thursday. As many as 6,033,310 voters in the four Lok Sabha seats will decide the fate of 47 candidates in the fray.

The Jalpaiguri district located in the northern part of Bengal is split into two parliamentary constituencies – Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar, with 3,147 polling booths scattered across the lush, forested areas known for abundant wildlife and tea gardens and 28 of those have additional facilities.

Extensively advertised as part of the Election Commission of India’s, Systematic Voter Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) activities, the stations have seating areas with canopies for the comfort of the voters.

Moreover, voters need not line up.

“There will be token systems according to the serial numbers. One just needs to wait in the seating areas till their turn comes,” Binay Sikdar, additional district magistrate, Jalpaiguri, told IANS.

As per the basic minimum amenities, drinking water supplies and electricity will be maintained. In addition toilets have been put up and ramps have been put in place for the disabled.

Directions and maps in multi-coloured signs are in place.

The district has as many as eight poll booths managed exclusively by women poll personnel.

“Special security measures have been taken including deployment of lady police personnel,” he said.

Canvassing in the four constituencies came to end at 6 p.m. Tuesday after weeks of hectic meetings, rallies, road shows, foot marches and street corner gatherings as the candidates went all out to woo the voters.

IANS