Tamil Nadu Assembly election | Donkeys deliver EVMs to hill hamlets
During each election, three hill hamlets in Dharmapuri district and one in Erode get polling supplies delivered by donkeys. For years, these villages have remained inaccessible to automobiles, and may be reached solely on foot. As previously, donkeys on Monday started to trek up to assist in the election course of.
In the Anthiyur Assembly constituency, election officers, two donkeys and some native folks trekked a nine-km jungle terrain to ferry digital voting machines (EVMs), Voter verifiable paper audit path (VVPAT) items and different supplies to Kathirimalai village that has 134 votes.
Coming beneath the Bargur panchayat, the village is situated 1,200 metres above sea stage contained in the reserve forest space of the Chennampatti Forest Range within the Erode Forest Division. With no energy provide, solely photo voltaic lamps gentle up the village, which doesn’t have cell phone connectivity both.
The Government Tribal Residential Middle School serves because the polling sales space at Kathirimalai. Though it’s within the Erode income district, the village may be reached solely after 4 hours of trek from Kathiripatti on the foothills at Kolathur in Salem district.
A workforce, led by Zonal Officer V.S. Palanivel and comprising polling and police personnel and forest guard, travelled 58 km from Anthiyur and reached Kathiripatti. While EVMs and VVPAT items have been loaded on the 2 donkeys, different polling supplies have been carried as head-load by 10 native folks. The workforce began at 3.30 p.m. from the foothills and was anticipated to attain the hilltop by 7.30 p.m.
After polling ends at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, officers have to climb down at evening to attain the foothills, from the place they’ll drive to the counting centre on the Institute of Road and Transport Technology at Chithode. The complete distance they’ve to cowl is 78 km.
At Pennagaram in Dharmapuri district, EVMs have been mounted to donkeys to attain Kottur, Kottu Alakettu and Erimalai. The run-up to the election was marked by a ballot boycott risk by the villages over the dearth of roads to attain the hill hamlets. Chinnaraj, 61, has been at it for 43 years, making his donkeys carry poll containers to the villages uphill.
However, this time, a bit of the Kottur residents declared a ballot boycott for need of higher roads. Officials visited the village that has 730 voters to promise them roads and persuade them to vote. Though a tar-top highway had been promised at each election, the villagers had to deal with solely a ‘kuccha’ highway. And, each election, it has turn out to be a routine for Chinnaraj and his donkeys to lug poll containers to the village.