According to Corporation officials, it is a precautionary measure against COVID-19
The Greater Chennai Corporation will create 2,330 polling stations, in addition to the 3,754 existing stations in 16 Assembly constituencies in the city, owing to COVID-19 restrictions.
Corporation officials have received instructions to identify new buildings for the creation of new polling stations. However, this could pose a challenge in some localities, officials said. However, most of the new polling stations will be located in the vicinity of the residents’ homes.
The Election Commission has directed the Corporation to create additional polling stations for areas with more than 1,000 electors. During the previous election, polling stations had a maximum of 1,500 electors on the rolls. Many of the additional polling stations would be located in buildings on the same premises as the existing ones, officials said.
Currently, Velachery has the largest number of polling stations with over 1,000 electors. Of the 261 polling stations in Velachery, 203 had more than 1,000 electors, officials said. Dr. Radhakrishnan Nagar, with 247 polling stations, is set to get 140 extra polling stations.
Perambur will add 159 stations to its existing 297, while Kolathur will get 198. Similarly, Villivakkam, Thiru Vi Ka Nagar, Egmore, Royapuram, Harbour, Chepauk-Thiruvallikeni, Thousand Lights, Anna Nagar, Virugambakkam, Saidapet, T. Nagar and Mylapore will get additional polling stations.
Only 1,499 polling stations have less than 1,000 electors in the city’s Assembly Constituencies. Officials said the new polling stations would get all facilities to improve access to persons with disabilities.
Former Corporation Councillor S. Mangala Raj said the creation of additional polling stations would lead to confusion among many residents on polling day. “Certain political parties may take advantage when residents are unable to vote in their usual polling stations. Residents have to be careful. Similar development of additional polling stations in other States reportedly favoured some political parties in power,” he added.
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