One phone call from district collector Vikas Deshmukh completely changed the state of affairs at the district election department (DED), and compelled district deputy election officer Apurva Wankhede to speed up the process of updating the final voters’ list, which is to be published on January 6. However, work so far has moved forward languorously.
The department has received 3.14 lakh forms for registration of new voters. But, so far, data entry of only 2.30 lakh voters has been done. Not only this; owing to the lethargic attitude of the department’s employees, only 1.58 per cent of photo upload work has been completed in the entire district. Officials cited the reason that the vendor, who was appointed by the department for this purpose, is delaying the process.
Out of eight constituencies in the city, three have not even reached one per cent of the photo uploading operations. Shivaji Nagar, Khadakwasla and Parvati have so far completed 0.70, 0.04 and 0.29 per cent of the process respectively, while other constituencies have hardly reached 2 per cent, with only one month left ahead of the deadline.
Considering the work pressure on the district election department, the district collectorate has also shifted the additional duties pertaining to Aadhaar to other departments. But, that hasn’t really helped matters. When this reporter asked for the number of dead, repeated and migrated voters that have been changed so far in the voters’ list, Wankhede said that as of now she hasn’t received any figures from the employees assigned for this work.
“I was away from the office for ten days and that was the precise reason why this work didn’t proceed further,” said Wankhede, who later gave instructions to her staff to expedite the process.
Time running out
The drive for updating the voter’s list started in the month of April with the new concept of uploading the photographs of voters in the voters’ list. The campaign ended in June. Along with photo uploading work, the department also conducted a drive for addition and deletion of voters until August. The reading of the list was carried out in the rural parts of the district between September 21 and October 5, and thus the department had two months to fulfill its official duties.