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EC forms task force to monitor heat wave conditions as temperatures continue to soar during polling

The polling for the Lok Sabha Elections will be held in seven phases across the country with the first phase already conducted on April 19. Meanwhile, the results will be declared on June 4.

Edited By: Hritika Mitra @MitraHritika New Delhi Published on: April 23, 2024 11:17 IST
The poll body held a meeting with concerned agencies and
Image Source : FILE The poll body held a meeting with concerned agencies and also discussed measures to mitigate any risk due to hot weather conditions during the Lok Sabha elections.

The Election Commission of India has formed a task force to review the impact of heat waves ahead of each polling phase as the temperatures continue to soar in several regions across the country. According to an official release, "A task force comprising officials from ECI, IMD, NDMA and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare will review the impact of heat waves and humidity five days before each polling phase for any concerning developments and mitigatory measures, if necessary."

The poll body held a meeting with concerned agencies and also discussed measures to mitigate any risk due to hot weather conditions during the Lok Sabha elections. According to an official release, "Director General of Meteorology, India Meteorological Department (IMD) informed the ECI that there is no major concern with regard to the heat wave for Phase 2 of the Lok Sabha elections scheduled for April 26."

"The Director General of IMD informed that the weather forecast is normal for the 13 states and UTs going for polls in Phase 2," said the release. As per the release, "In view of reports of above-normal temperatures and heat waves in certain parts of the country, the Commission today held a meeting with concerned agencies to understand the developing weather situation and discuss measures to mitigate any risk due to hot weather conditions during the period of general elections."

The meeting, chaired by Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar along with ECs Gyanesh Kumar and Sukhbir Singh Sandhu, was attended by the Additional Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), Head of Department, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and DG Meteorology, India Meteorological Department (IMD). The Commission directed MoHFW to issue necessary instructions to health authorities in states to prepare for and extend assistance in case of heatwave conditions affecting election operations.

The release also said that the Commission will hold a separate review with state CEOs to ensure adequate arrangements at polling stations, including shamiyana, drinking water, fans, and other assured minimum facilities, etc., as per its existing advisory dated March 16, 2024. "IEC (Information, Education and Communication) activities shall be carried out amongst the public for precautionary measures (dos and don'ts) to mitigate the heat wave impact in polling station areas," it said.

The Commission has been closely monitoring the weather reports and will ensure the comfort and well-being of voters, polling personnel, security forces, candidates and political party leaders. Keeping in view the seriousness of the matter, the Commission had already issued an advisory on April 16, to all CEOs regarding "Prevention of Heat Wave Impact" along with the Commission's standing instructions regarding the assured minimum facilities at polling stations for strict compliance by all CEOs in the States and UTs. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the NDMA have also issued advisories and guidelines on mitigating the risk of heat wave-related issues earlier.MoHFW has also directed all states to prepare a state action plan as part of their public health advisory.

(With inputs from PTI)

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