Bhubaneswar: The fifth and final phase Panchayat Polls for 150 Zilla Parishad zones under 58 blocks across 26 districts in the state has begun amid tight security.
Barring Angul, Boudh, Jharsuguda and Malkangiri districts, polling for the three tier rural elections for 1173 GP and 16,148 wards began at 7 am today and will continue till 12 pm. Counting of votes will begin at 1 pm.
About 44,50,893 voters will exercise their adult franchise during the fifth phase.
Elaborate security arrangements have been put in place for free and fair conduct of polls. Looking at possible terror threats from left wing extremists, combing operations have been intensified out in Maoist infested districts like Koraput, Rayagada, Nuapada and Bolangir.
Besides, CCTVs, adequate security personnel, and drone surveillance have been deployed to ward off any untoward incidents in sensitive booths.