TN CEO directs authorities to ensure uninterrupted power supply at strong rooms for EVMs

Chennai, May 10 (UNI) Tamil Nadu Chief Electoral Officer Satyabrata Sahoo has directed the authorities to ensure uninterrupted power supply in all the strong rooms across the state where the EVMs were kept after the April 19 polling for the Lok Sabha elections.

The counting will take place on June 4.

Mr Sahoo’s directive comes at a time when there were reports in some districts about malfunctioning of CCTV cameras installed in counting Centres and strong rooms, resulting in political parties lodging complaints with the Election Commission to ensure safety of the EVMs.

Mr Sahoo, who held a review meeting through video conferencing with the District Election Officers, Returning Officers, Commissioners of Police, Superintendents of Police, District level Engineers of PWD (Civil and Electrical) to review the EVM strong room security arrangements, said he has instructed the authorities to ensure uninterrupted power supply in all the strong rooms, besides installing additional CCTV cameras to ensure fool proof security.

In a statement here, he said as per the instructions of ECI, the contesting candidates or their representatives are allowed to watch the security arrangements of the Strong Room through the CCTV display facility provided at the counting centres.

The CCTV cameras were already fixed on the outside of every Strong Room Door having the polled EVMs (Apart from this the entire counting center are covered under general surveillance by adequate number of CCTV cameras for overall security purpose).

In order to ensure un-interrupted CCTV footage, all the DEOs/ROs have been instructed to make arrangements for fixing of one additional CCTV camera in front of the door of each Strong Room having the polled EVMs in the counting centers (with separate dedicated line, switch, Router, NVR and TV) for viewing CCTV footage enabling the political party agent to view the footage (even if there is failure in the other CCTV cameras fixed in front of Strong Room Door having the polled EVMs installed already).

Instructions have also been issued to the DEOs to coordinate with Electricity Department and PWD officials to ensure uninterrupted power supply for CCTV arrangements in the counting centers.

Availability of Diesel Generator with automatic change over provision in case of power failure, UPS back up for strong room CCTV cameras to ensure seamless switching for that gap when power cuts off and diesel Generator is turned on, stabiliser for CCTV installation to avoid voltage fluctuations in power supply have been reviewed during the meeting.

The DEOs have also been instructed to ensure that measures like surge protector/lightning arrester are installed so that the CCTV cameras do not get affected because of lightning.

As per the existing directions of the ECI, the candidates or the representatives of the candidates based on their requests, accompany the DEO/RO/ARO to the inner perimeter, in batches, to see, verify and satisfy regarding strong room security.

A three-tier cordoning system comprising Central Armed Police Forces, State Armed police and local police has been set up with controlled access in all counting premises to prevent any entry of unauthorized persons.

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