ECI Issues Advisory To Counter Heatwave Impact During Lok Sabha Polls 2024

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has issued an advisory to all State/UTs chief electoral officers (CEOs) regarding the prevention of heatwave impact during the Lok Sabha polls 2024.

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The Election Commission of India (ECI) has taken proactive measures to ensure the safety and convenience of voters during the upcoming Lok Sabha polls amidst concerns over potential heatwave conditions.

In a recent development, the ECI released a comprehensive advisory addressed to all State/UTs chief electoral officers (CEOs) outlining strategies to mitigate the impact of heatwaves before and during the elections.

Highlighting the insights provided by the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the advisory underscores the likelihood of above-normal temperatures during the forthcoming summer season, particularly between March and June 2024. These conditions could lead to prolonged spells of heatwaves, necessitating preparedness at various levels.

In response to this, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has issued a set of guidelines encompassing Do’s and Don’ts aimed at minimizing the adverse effects of heatwaves. The ECI, in its letter to the CEOs, emphasised the importance of implementing these recommendations effectively.

A key aspect of the advisory pertains to the Assured Minimum Facilities (AMF) to be provided at all polling stations. The ECI directed CEOs/DEOs to conduct a thorough assessment of AMF requirements and collaborate with state authorities to ensure their permanent availability. These facilities not only aim to streamline the voting process but also cater to the needs of diverse demographics, including elderly and disabled voters.

To enhance accessibility, the commission mandated the establishment of polling stations on the ground floor of buildings, accompanied by the provision of ramps meeting specific criteria outlined by the Supreme Court. Moreover, ensuring amenities such as drinking water, adequate furniture, lighting, signage, and toilet facilities at polling stations is deemed essential.

In addition to these measures, the advisory recommends tented arrangements for shade, childcare facilities, and the setup of Voter Assistance Booths (VAB) to offer comprehensive support to voters throughout the electoral process.

The Lok Sabha elections are scheduled to take place from April 19 to June 1, 2024, spanning seven phases across the country. The culmination of these polls will see the election of 543 members to the 18th Lok Sabha, with results slated to be announced on June 4, 2024.