Delhi Elections: Armed with mist fans, coolers, ORS, EC’s heatwave prep aids voters

- May 25, 2024
| By : Saurav Gupta |

Battling heatwave, Delhi's voters find relief at polling stations equipped with shade tents, cold water, and medical assistance, thanks to proactive measures by the Election Commission

As Delhi votes in the sixth phase of the Lok Sabha elections, the city finds itself in the grip of a severe heatwave amid a yellow alert. With temperatures expected to soar up to 44 degrees Celsius, the Election Commission faces a significant challenge in ensuring voter turnout amid such harsh weather conditions.

The Election Office, aware of the predicted heatwave, has proactively taken measures to mitigate the adverse effects on voters. Polling for this crucial phase began at 7 am on Saturday, with the mercury already touching 41 degrees Celsius, one degree above normal. To combat the soaring temperatures, the Delhi poll body has implemented comprehensive arrangements to provide relief to voters braving the heat.

Rajendra Kaur, paramedical staff at Rajkiya Pratibha Vikas Vidyalaya, Civil Lines, informed about the arrangements at the polling booth. “Two health officials have been appointed to handle any sort of medical emergency during the voting proceedings. We have a medical kit ready, which includes ORS and general medicines to assist people.”

Tara, another paramedical staff member, added that an ambulance has been deployed at the polling station. “We are also in touch with all the nearest hospitals in case of any emergency,” she said.

A senior booth official, who is aware of the arrangements, mentioned that the SEC has installed sheds at all polling stations across the national capital to ensure people can comfortably stand in queues to vote.

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Jagresh, 49, a paramedical staff member stationed at MCD Senior Secondary School in Tughlakabad, said, “I am here to provide first aid to people who may faint or face other issues due to the heat wave in the city. We also have a first aid kit that includes ORS, bandages, and painkillers to quickly assist patients. In case of an emergency, we can send patients to nearby hospitals.”

The Chief Electoral Officers and state authorities have been instructed to manage the impact of the hot weather effectively. This directive includes ensuring ample shade and hydration facilities at polling stations. Across Delhi, polling stations are equipped with shade tents and cold drinking water to help voters stay cool and hydrated. Additionally, essential amenities like ramps, toilets, and seating areas have been set up to ensure a comfortable voting experience.

In an earlier interview with Patriot, Delhi Chief Election Officer (CEO) P Krishnamurthy had said that shaded areas at polling locations will be enhanced with air coolers and mist fans. “Cold drinking water will be available, and paramedics with basic medical kits will be deployed at all polling stations. A crèche facility will be provided for children accompanying their mothers,” he said.

Despite the challenging weather, the enthusiasm among voters remains high. In the early hours of voting, a large number of women voters were seen at polling stations across the city.

Also Read: Lok Sabha Elections 2024: PwDs vote in large numbers despite difficulties

The Election Commission has urged voters to come out in large numbers, emphasising the importance of exercising their democratic right. To ensure a smooth process, polling stations have been meticulously prepared to offer relief from the heat and provide a secure environment. With these measures in place, the poll panel is hopeful that citizens will vote with responsibility and pride, despite the sweltering conditions.