Dated: 24th April 2021
CEC HOLDS A REVIEW MEETING WITH CS West Bengal
The Election Commission led by Chief Election Commissioner Shri Sushil Chandra and Election Commissioner Shri Rajiv Kumar today held meeting with the senior officers of West Bengal including Chief Secretary, ACS(Home), Secretary (Disaster Management), Secretary (Health), DGP, CP Kolkata. CEO West Bengal and State Police Nodal Officer cum ADG(L&O) were also present.
The Commission noted with concern that during public campaigns for electioneering, the enforcement under the Disaster Management Act, 2005 has been less than adequate. Executive Committee of State Disaster Management Authority, chaired by the Chief Secretary of the State and tasked with the enforcement of COVID-19 appropriate behaviour under the 2005 Act , need to step up its assigned statutory duty.District machinery, which is tasked with election works continue to remain responsible for enforcement of other laws including the DM Act simultaneously. The Commission directed that the SDMA and its functionaries must implement and monitor the implementation of COVID norms during the campaign and take appropriate action in case of any violation. Chief Secretary apprised the Commission that State is in receipt of and noted further directions of ECI on enforcement of COVID-19 norms during electioneering. He assured that entire machinery has been directed to now onwards take more stringent and prompt steps for sensitization and enforcement of extant instructions under the Act.
The Commission appreciated the State machinery in flawless arrangements in the polling booth for COVID appropriate behaviour and safe disposal of bio medical waste. It was informed that as per the directions given by the Commission, following material has been provided foe election purposes
Face shields for Polling Personnel & MO
Visor for Face Shield
Hand sanitisers 100 ml for use of polling personnel & MO
Hand sanitisers 500 ml for use of electors
Hand sanitisers 2 litre jerrican
PPEs ( Body suit,N 95 Mask,Gloves,Face shield,Goggles,Head Cover,Shoe cover)
Plastic Hand gloves ( single) for electors (considering 85% turn out)
Hand gloves ( in pairs) for PP Rubber)
Covered dustbins (100 litres)
Plastic bags ( 24'') to fit into dustbins
Health Secretary also informed that as per Commission’s directions Nodal Health Officers have been assigned at each of the 294 ACs, all 24 CMOH are Nodal Health Officers for their district, apart from State level Nodal Health Officer. He also informed that elaborate arrangements have been made for collection and disposal of gloves discarded by the voters after use at the Polling Stations as bio-medical waste.
While appreciating the good work done in the last 6 phases ensuring Covid safe arrangements at the polling stations, Commission directed that regular monitoring of COVID compliant behaviour and action against the violations must be done by the authority. It further directed that appropriate and effective communication strategies must be put in place to inform the voters about Covid safe and secure environment at all polling stations as all Polling stations are being sanitised, all voters are wearing masks and are provided hand glove and hand sanitisation facility and social distancing is being maintained even in the queues. Chief Secretary assured the Commission that all actions for enforcement of covid appropriate behaviour during public gathering for electioneering purposes and otherwise also under the Disaster Management Act 2005 and all other relevant statutory provisions shall be ensured as directed by the Commission.