Assembly polls: mid-day goes on a poll booth check across Mumbai
mid-day correspondents visited polling centres in different constituencies of the city, to check what facilities had been provided and how accessible they were to senior citizens and persons with disabilities
What facilities will you be provided with while waiting for your turn to exercise your right to franchise in the state assembly polls? mid-day gives you a glimpse of the preparedness of polling booths in major constituencies it visited, to gauge the situation.
At the Worli Naka polling station in Worli Naka Municipal School, wooden ramps were expected to arrive in the evening yesterday. Tables and chairs were being arranged. Since the venue is a school, drinking water and toilets are available. Interestingly, since most polling booths here are on the first floor, authorities have provided a makeshift ‘doli’ (in pic) to ferry senior citizens and persons with disabilities (PWDs) to the first floor. This provision had also been made in the municipal elections two years ago.
mid-day visited the polling centre at the ground near Versova Welfare School, Seven Bungalows. A pandal has been erected, with wooden ramps for senior citizens and PWDs. While we couldn’t spot any toilets, authorities said the facility would be in place by the night of October 14.
We visited the booth inside Kamla Raheja garden in Seven Bungalows. Police officials there told us mobile toilets are required, since the locality doesn’t have a public toilet nearby. We couldn’t see restroom cabins, but Election Commission authorities promised to make appropriate arrangements. There were no ramps, and being a garden, there shouldn’t be an accessibility problem.
We went to polling booth number 45 at Aarey Milk Colony, which has over 8,000 tribal voters. There are five such booths in this constituency. While a ramp and toilets are available, there is no provision for drinking water. Moreover, voters will have to suffer the shoddy roads of the Colony to reach here.
At Mt Mary School in Malwani, Malad (West), basic facilities like water and toilets are in place. But there is no ramp for PWDs and senior citizens. Voting is to be done on the first floor, and one would have to climb up the stairs, not a very pleasing prospect for PWDs and senior citizens.
Voting will be done in municipal schools on Akurli Road. Pandals were ready, water filters had been placed, ramps for accessibility had been installed and chairs had been placed in huge numbers near the steps.
We visited a polling booth near the open ground next to the southbound arm of the Dindoshi flyover, and found that all facilities, including ramps, were in place.
We went to the BMC school near BMC’s H/West ward office. There were no ramps, but all other preparations were underway. One of the police officials on the spot claimed all arrangements would be completed by night of October 14.
At the Chakala school we visited, preparations were underway, and police protection had been provided. But we didn’t spot any ramps, which is a necessity for polling centres.
We visited the polling booth near Bharati Vidya Mandir Hindi School at Ghatkopar (West). Ramps had been provided for accessibility, but hawkers outside the school entrance make it difficult to enter the school. At another polling station at Sarvoday School (in pic) in Ghatkopar, pandals had been erected. But there was no sign of any facilities like drinking water, ramps. Authorities said these would be set up by
mid-day also visited the municipal school at Tagore Nagar. All the essential facilities were in place, including a ramp. Polling will be done on the first floor and authorities said PWDs and senior citizens would be carried on chairs to their respective booths.
At IDUBS Hindi High School in Bhandup, all polling booths are on the ground floor of the school building. Ramps are already a part of the school infrastructure at various entry spots.
At the Mulund College of Commerce (MCC) centre, drinking water, ramps (in pic) for PWDs are in place. While polling stations are on the first floor, authorities said those who cannot walk up, will be carried up on chairs.
One of the schools near Wadala station was being readied with pandals. Policemen were sitting at the entrance of this school and were not allowing outsiders to enter.