Subadh Kumar Nayak

Bhubaneswar: The Election Commission has taken adequate precautionary measures to avoid possible damages to polled Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) in view of the expected landfall of Cyclone Fani on Friday. Besides, the Collectors of all the districts which are expected to be affected by the cyclone have been directed to take measures to prevent entry of rainwater into the strong rooms.

Speaking to media persons, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Odisha, Surendra Kumar said that the constitutional authority has decided to change the locations of two of the strong rooms where the EVMs have been kept after the conclusion of 4-phase elections in the state.

“The EVMs of Erasama- Balikuda (103) and Jagatsinghpur (104) Assembly constituencies at SVM Autonomous College, Jagatsinghpur, will be shifted to the first floor from the ground floor of the same building,” said Surendra Kumar.

“Likewise, the EVMs of Mohana (136) and Paralakhemundi (137) Assembly segments will be shifted to the newly built EVM godown near Gajapati Collectorate as a precautionary measure,” he added.

According to the CEO, the poll candidates of the concerned constituencies have been apprised about the shifting process which will be video-graphed.

Speaking about the shifting of the EVMs, Gajapti Collector Anupam Saha said, “We are told that there will be extremely heavy rainfall and wind flow following which the Election Commission has instructed us for the safety and security of the polled EVMs. That is why we are shifting the strong room to the newly built EVM godown near the Collectorate.”

Quoting India Meteorological Department (IMD) forecast, Odisha Special Relief Commissioner (SRC), Bishnupada Sethi today informed that cyclonic storm ‘Fani’ is expected to make landfall in Puri at 5:30 PM on May 3.