Preparations for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections to be held on February 21 are nearing completion and officials are making all efforts to ensure that people exercise their franchise in large numbers in a city known for voter apathy.
“The preparatory work to conduct the election is almost complete. We are doing our best to create awareness among the voters and now it’s up to the citizens to come forward and exercise their franchise.
“The city has a bad record when it comes to voting percentage. Hope they (voters) will come out in large numbers this time,” said a senior official entrusted with the electoral work.
During the 2012 Mumbai civic elections, only 42 per cent voters cast their votes.
“An allotment of Rs 95 crore was made for this elections. Considering the quantum of amount and 91 lakh voters, the spending roughly works out to Rs 100 per voter. A major part of the amount has been spent on awareness campaigns, preparation and distribution of voter slips among others,” said the official.
Meanwhile, BMC Additional Commissioner Sanjay Deshmukh told reporters that the civic body and its machinery are on alert and working in coordination with Mumbai police and other agencies.
“With active coordination of Mumbai police and State Election Commission, we are giving final touch to the poll work.
“There are 7,304 polling booths at 1,582 places across 227 wards in the city. A total of 2,275 candidates are in fray for the election. There are 9,18,0491 voters which include 50,30,361 male voters, 49,49,749 female voters and 381 transgenders,” said Deshmukh.
“There are 17 hypersensitive and 688 sensitive polling stations in the city. We have coordinated with police and adequate security arrangements are being made to thwart any untoward incident. Polling will start at 7.30 AM and will continue till 5.30 PM,” the officer said.