Deputy Election Commissioner Sudhir Tripathi slammed District Collector, Electoral Registration Officers (EROs) and other officials of the District Election department for the slow progress of work on the ongoing drive of updating photographs of people featuring in the existing voters’ list and asked the officials wrap up the work by May 31, said sources.
Tripathi visited the city yesterday to review the progress of the drive that commenced on April 1 — to collect and update photographs of 15 lakh voters. But ever since the drive commenced, the EROs managed to collect and update photographs of just 16,000 voters from the 21 constituency.
“Tripathi lashed out at the team, asking the officials that why couldn’t they achieve the target when the other states were handling the drive successfully,” said an official from the District Election office.
The source said Tripathi also suggested distribution of the epic cards (voter’s identity card) among people, which he felt would automatically spread awareness among citizens about the ongoing drive.
When contacted, the EROs either rejected the call or refused to comment. While the ERO from Bhosari constituency M B Borkar cut the call, Shivaji Nagar ERO Dnyaneshwar Jawanjal said he would not like to comment on issue.
EROs from Hadapsar and Kasba confirmed that the Deputy Election Commissioner expressed his disappointment over the performance of the Pune team.
“He told us to achieve the target by May 31, despite difficulties we face during the drive. Most of the Booth Level Officers (BLO) are teachers and they are currently busy with college-related work,” Hadapsar ERO Dadabhau Joshi said.
Last week, only 366 voters’ photos were collected and updated by the ERO in Shivajinagar which turned out to be the lowest among the 21 constituencies despite the fact that the total population of voters is over one lakh.
Similarly, the BLOs in Hadapsar could only reach out to 653 voters despite the constituency having a population of more than one lakh voters.