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BMCs poll dept goes extra mile to improve voter turnout

In a bid to increase the voter turnout during the February 21 Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) polls, the election department of the civic body has undertaken several measures, including painting train rakes and buses with messages urging people to exercise their franchise.

There are 91.80 lakh voters in Mumbai, who are eligible to vote in the upcoming civic polls. During the 2012 BMC elections, only 42 per cent voters had cast their votes.

Talking about the steps that the civic body’s election department has undertaken, a senior BMC official involved in the process said, “This time, we are going extra mile. Apart from following the conventional methods to educate and awaken the voters of the metropolis, we have gone extra mile to persuade people to vote at any cost, who have got an unwanted tag of being lethargic voters.”

“We have arranged to paint two local trains (rakes) on the Main line of Central Railway, two on Western Railway route and one on Harbour line, with messages urging people to vote. Apart from that, two per cent of the total fleet of BEST buses and bus stops will also sport similar messages that will urge people to cast their vote,” the official said.

LEDs and hoardings placed at important junctions of the city would also flash appeals to vote, he said adding, “Even the exterior parts of airports, octroi booths, ATM kiosks, etc would be lit up with messages urging people to come forward and vote,” he said adding that housing societies, hotel owners and colleges have also been contacted to motivate the voters.

“We have contacted office-bearers of hotel owners association, who have primarily agreed to offer discount on food on the Election Day to those, who show their ink-marked fingers. Not only this, even Uber taxi drivers are planning to offer discounts that day to passengers who cast their vote,” the official added.

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