All arrangements in place for counting of votes

After many agents tested positive, candidates had to make alternative arrangements

All arrangements have been put in place for counting of votes polled in the five Assembly segments of the district on April 6.

After polling ended on April 6, the Electronic Voting Machines were kept in the strong rooms in Government College of Engineering on Tirunelveli – Nagercoil Highway where 3-tier security arrangement has been put in place. Moreover, CCTV cameras have been installed in and outside the strong rooms and in and around the Government College of Engineering.

Watch towers have been erected at vantage points around the counting centre where armed policemen with binoculars have been posted round-the-clock.

Police personnel, officials to be involved in counting of votes, agents of the candidates and the reporters have been screened for COVID-19 as only those who carry the COVID-19 negative certificate or who had taken the two doses of the vaccines at the right interval alone will be allowed to enter the counting centre with masks and after producing the identity cards issued by the Election Commission of India from 6 a.m.

After many of the agents tested positive, the candidates had to look for alternative arrangements in the eleventh hour so as to ensure the presence of their agents in the counting hall.

Police Commissioner, Tirunelveli City, T. S. Anbu said vehicular traffic on the small stretch between Anna University Regional Office and Tuckerammalpuram check-post will be stopped till the end of the counting of votes on Sunday (May 1) and only vehicles associated with the elections and essential services alone will be allowed.

While government officials and the police will be allowed to park their vehicles on Anna University Regional Office premises, others should park their vehicles on the ground opposite the Anna University Regional Office premises.

The winning candidate along with only two persons will be allowed to enter the counting centre to receive the ‘winner’s certificate’ and no victory celebration will be allowed anywhere.

“Even though the people coming to the counting centre carry the COVID-19 negative certificate, those who are suffering from severe cold and having abnormal body temperature will not be allowed to enter the counting centre, where physical distancing should be strictly followed. Those who dare to defy the instructions of the policemen deployed in and around the counting centre will be detained under the National Disaster Management Act and Indian Penal Code,” Mr. Anbu warned.

Similar arrangements have been made in the counting centres at – Government Engineering College in Thoothukudi on VOC College premises, USP Polytechnic College at Kodikurichi near Tenkasi and Government Engineering College at Konam in Nagercoil.

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