Nitesh Kumar Sahoo

With the three-tier Panchayat elections in Odisha approaching fast, the ballot papers were dispatched to 10 districts from the government press in Cuttack amid tight security, on Tuesday.

As per reports, a day after the candidates filed their nominations for the three-tier elections to the Panchayati Raj institutions in the first phase of the nomination filing process, the ballot papers for Ward Members, Sarpanch and Samiti Members in 10 districts were dispensed today. 
The ballot papers to other districts will be sent in the next phases on January 19 and 21.

The dispensed ballot papers contain a specific watermark. While yellow colour ballot paper is for the ward members, pink is for sarpanch and blue for Panchayat Samiti members. The ballot papers will be stored in strong rooms and sent to different blocks as per schedule before the elections.

"The symbols will be allotted to the candidates based on their political parties. The candidates from independent parties will have to select a symbol from the list of 19 free symbols available with the SEC. The candidates will be enrolled alphabetically and will be allotted the symbols," informed Ashis Ishwar Patel, Deputy Collector, Balasore. 

Meanwhile, the State Election Commission (SEC) today revised the scale of payment of ex-gratia and compensation amounts in case of deaths and injuries due to any violent act of anti-socials in road mines, bomb blast and Covid-19 during election duty. 

As per the latest notification issued by the SEC, an ex-gratia of Rs 30 lakh will be provided to the family member of the polling personnel if his/her death is caused due to any violent act of extremist or anti-social elements in road mines, bomb blast, armed attacks in course of the election duty.

Similarly, if a polling personnel dies due to Covid-19 during election duty, the family of the deceased will be granted Rs 30 lakh compensation. On the other hand, Rs 15 lakh will be granted to the family of the polling personnel, if he/she dies on duty for any other reason.

As per the new notification, Rs 15 lakh will be allocated to the person if he/she loses eyesight or loses limb causing permanent disability during any violent act.  If any person loses one eyesight or loses limb causing permanent disability in case of accidents or any other means, the compensation amount will be Rs 7.5 lakh. 

Payment of such ex-gratia shall be applicable to all Civil persons whether Government (both Centre and State)/Corporation (including Central and State P.S.U.)/Local bodies or Drivers & Helpers of Government and private vehicles engaged by the competent authority for election-related duty in Odisha during General Elections to Panchayats, 2022 and thereafter including by-elections.

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