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ECI to take Adequate Precautions Against Heat Wave Concerns for Phase 2 of General Elections

New Delhi: The Election Commission of India (ECI) today allayed concerns regarding heat waves for the upcoming Phase 2 of the General Elections, slated for April 26. Director General of the India Meteorological Department (IMD) Mrutyunjay Mohapatra informed the Commission that there is no major cause for alarm, as the weather forecast for the 13 States/Union Territories going to the polls remains normal.

In light of reports indicating above-normal temperatures and heat waves in certain regions of the country, the Commission convened a meeting with relevant agencies to assess the evolving weather situation and devise strategies to mitigate any potential risks associated with hot weather conditions during the electoral process.

Chaired by Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar, the meeting included Election Commissioners Gyanesh Kumar and Sukhbir Singh Sandhu, along with representatives from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), and the IMD.

Several key decisions were reached during the meeting to address the potential impact of heat waves on the electoral process:

Formation of a Task Force: A task force comprising officials from the ECI, IMD, NDMA, and MoHFW will monitor the impact of heat waves and humidity five days prior to each polling phase. The task force will assess any concerning developments and implement mitigatory measures as necessary.

Preparedness Instructions: The MoHFW has been directed to issue necessary instructions to health authorities in states to prepare for and provide assistance in the event of heatwave conditions affecting election operations.

Review with State CEOs: The Commission will conduct a separate review with State Chief Electoral Officers (CEOs) to ensure adequate arrangements at polling stations, including provisions for shade, drinking water, fans, and other essential facilities as per existing advisories.

IEC Activities: Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) activities will be conducted among the public to disseminate precautionary measures (Do’s & Don’ts) aimed at mitigating the impact of heat waves in polling station areas.

Monitoring and Assurance: The Commission reiterated its commitment to closely monitor weather reports and ensure the comfort and well-being of voters, polling personnel, security forces, candidates, and political party leaders.

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