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Are Rs 10,000 really being spent on Covid material at every Kupwara Polling Station?

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Neyaz Elahi

Kupwara, Nov 30, KNT: In order to meet the expenditure in connection with conduct of Elections to District Development Councils, bye-elections to vacant seats of Block Development Councils, Sarpanchs and Panchs, the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer released funds to the tune of Rs 2.62 Crores for 24 Blocks and 1176 Polling Stations of North Kashmir’s Kupwara district.

These funds have been placed at the disposal of Deputy District Election Officer, Kupwara.

Sources told news agency KNT that the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer has allocated Rs 10,000 for each polling station and the amount has to be spend on Covid-19 related materials like thermal scanners, soaps, sanitizers, water, mask, face shield, gloves.

Various polling staffers said that they didn’t see Covid-19 related materials like soaps, water, mask, face shield, gloves and other stuff at polling stations. “A sanitizer worth Rs 50 and a couple of masks were placed on a table for the polling staff. I don’t think Rs 10,000 are being spent on Covid-19 material for a polling station,” said an employee who was recently on polling duty in Kupwara.

The DDC elections and by-elections for the first phase have already been conducted in some blocks of Kupwara including Kalaroos, Tangdhar while same elections were conducted in Ramhal, Redi Chowkibal areas of the district today.

Among the total funds of Rs 2.62 Crores released by the Office of Chief Electoral Officer, Rs 1 Crore and 17 lakh has been exclusively reserved for purchasing of the Covid-19 related material.

“An inspection team should be constituted that should see whether funds allocated for the purchase of Covid-19 material reaches to polling staff and voters or not,” said a group of employees.

Despite repeated attempts, both Chief Electoral Officer Hirdesh Kumar and District Development Commissioner Kupwara Anshul Garg could not be contacted for their comments. (KNT)


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