With security of electronic voting machines (EVMs) top on agenda after completion of two phase of polls in Odisha, the state energy department has urged the four distribution companies (discoms) to ensure uninterrupted supply of power to the strong rooms where the EVMs are stored.
“Necessary steps may please be taken immediately to ensure uninterrupted power supply at the strong room locations during the entire period wherein polled EVMs are being stored in consultation with the concerned district election officers and collectors,” C P Mohanty, additional secretary (energy) wrote to the chief executive officers of the four discoms- Cesu, Nesco, Wesco and Southco. The office of the chief electoral officer (CEO) had stressed on fool-proof security of the EVMs and also ensuring uninterrupted power supply for the strong rooms storing the machines as per the instructions of the Election Commission of India. “Concerned discoms may please be directed to ensure uninterrupted power supply at the strong room locations during the entire period wherein polled EVMs are being stored,” N K Nayak, nodal officer for the elections had written to energy secretary. The polled EVMs are stored in 64 strong room locations across the state.
Since there was considerable gap between the day of polling and counting of votes in the state, the CEO's office had emphasized on strengthening the security of the strong room locations. The strong room locations were to be placed 24x7 under Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) guard and CCTV coverage.