All 15 zones in GCC to have counting centres for urban local body polls

The Greater Chennai Corporation and district election office, in a precaution measure against COVID-19, has decided to set up counting centres in each of the 15 zones.

According to a Chennai Corporation official, the decision has been taken recently to avoid crowding while counting votes. “Moreover, discussions were held to set up two counting centres in some of the core city zones, so that we have 15 to 20 centres. But, 15 centres have been finalised. This is due to the COVID-19 situation,” the official said.

During the previous elections for Lok Sabha and State Assembly, counting centres were set up in three locations. As the city has 200 divisions, the number of candidates will be enormous and three centres will not be sufficient to seat them all while counting.

As per a GCC document, all the counting centres will be set up at educational institutions. Some of the counting centres are Government Polytechnic College in Surepet for Tondiarpet zone, Bharathi Women’s College in Broadway for Royapuram zone, Government Polytechnic College in Purasawalkam for Thiru Vi Ka Nagar zone, Pachaiyappas College for Anna Nagar, Loyola College Teynampet zone, Meenatchi Engineering College in Virugambakkam in Kodambakkam and Anna University in Adyar zone.

Similarly, the civic body has created training centres for polling officials in 21 locations and distribution centres at 24 locations from where EVMs and other materials have been stored.

Meanwhile, as many as 5,794 polling booths have been selected and arrangements are in full swing at the booths. A separate team of engineers has been appointed at the polling booths as well as at counting centres.

As a security measure, the civic body will install CCTV cameras at the polling booths and counting centres. Also, additional security arrangements will be made in booths, which will be identified as vulnerable booths.