Election officials in West Bengal are gearing up for an altogether different kind of battle with boats, HAM radios and power generating equipment as the world's largest mangrove, the Sundarbans, votes on Sunday.
District officials of the North and South 24-Parganas have made arrangements for their movement in the delta spanning over a sprawling area with nearly 43.28 lakh voters. The Sundarbans also expands into Bangladesh.
Bengal's 54 inhabited and 48 forested islands of the archipelago falls under three Lok Sabha constituencies -- Mathurapur, Jaynagar and Basirhat.
Assembly segments such as Gosaba, Patharpratima and Kultoli of South 24 Parganas are also part of the Sundarban region which, as per a 2014 census, is home to 74 endangered Royal Bengal Tigers.
District officials though explained that none of the polling stations is situated in the core region, hence there is no fear of tiger attacks.
"To address connectivity issues we are using HAM (amateur) radio systems and walkie talkies. For the movement of the poll officials in 178 island polling stations we have a fleet of boats ready," Antara Acharya, District Magistrate of North 24-Parganas, told IANS.
Traditional as well as mechanised boats will be used.
Apart from the hustings, the officials have taken up the opportunity to create awareness among the voters on environmental issues like soil erosion.
The voters' awareness programme was done very creatively. "We tried to make it more colourful and visited the ghats (banks) with EVMs," said one official.
With polling continuing till sunset, and some of these places lacking electricity, measures have been taken to ensure uninterrupted power supply.
Four polling stations in Mathurapur will operate with generators. The officials will also carry charged emergency lights.
Mostly schools and Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) centres are being used for the process and they are all 'pucca' structures and the poll personnel will move along with security.
Trinamool's sitting MPs Pratima Mondal and C.M. Jatua will defend their seats in Jaynagar and Mathurapur constituencies respectively.
In Basirhat, the state's ruling party has pitched debutant Nusrat Jahan, a Bengali actress, who will face BJP's Sayantan Basu.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)