While there are several people who cry hoarse even if they spot a spelling mistake in their name, there are numerous others who don’t care if their photograph on the voters’ list is correct or not.
This can be gauged by the response that the district administration’s ongoing drive –updating photos of people featuring in the existing voters’ list – has received. The initiative has been a dud in densely populated city areas like Shivajinagar, Parvati, Kasba and Hadapsar. In these areas, the authorities haven’t been able to complete even 1 per cent of the work due to stumpy participation from the people.
According to the district election department, around 16,000 voters in 21 assembly segments across the district have so far updated their photos. However the total number of voters who haven’t got their pictures updated is more than 8 lakh.
“Out target is to update photos of 15 lakh voters. However, due to lack of participation from the people, we have been able to achieve only 1 per cent of our target in the past one month,” lamented Deputy District Election Officer Apurva Wankhede. She added that although the district administration is now planning to take help of NGOs, ration shops and LPG agencies to collect photos from the voters, the administration was expecting that citizens should not be apathetic towards the entire drive that will go on till June 1.
“Updating of photos will help the administration identify bogus and duplicate voters,” said Wankhede. The worst response that we have got till now is from Shivajinagar assembly segment, where out of over 1 lakh voters, only 366 voters have got their photos updated. Parvati assembly segment, which also has more than 1 lakh voters, has only only 520 voters who have got their pictures updated.
Naib Tehsildar Rajendra Sindkar, who is the in-charge of Parvati assembly segment, said that they are doing all they can to make people aware of the ongoing drive. “We have started two help centres, and have appointed officers at the booth level who visit every household in their respective areas and ask for photographs. However, even that’s not working, as people either say that they don’t have photos, or ask them to come some other time,” Sindkar said.
RB Mahale, a naib tehsildar who is in-charge of Shivajinagar assembly segment, said that although people have taken forms, they haven’t submitted at the centre as yet.