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Second round of electoral roll revision begins

By Our Staff Reporter

CHENNAI, NOV. 25. The second round of the special electoral roll revision began today, with fewer complaints reported from the city and suburbs.

Unlike the first phase of the campaign which witnessed absenteeism of staff at many designated special campaign locations in suburban areas, the posted manpower was present with adequate forms in stock. This time the election authority had also put up notices at the locations furnishing details of the exercise and indicating that those who enrolled themselves would be videographed later. Information on forms- EPIC 001, 002 and 004- for videographing, loss and mutilation, and correction of EPIC cards were also furnished. Similarly, details of the areas, which each designated location covered, were also available on the notice board.

The exercise will continue on Sunday.

Most of the designated centres in the city had fewer people coming in this time. This was attributed to people using the opportunity during the first round itself. ``In the last round itself we have received about 1.25 lakh applications for correction and name inclusion. Only the people left over from the last round are coming now. That could be a reason for fewer people coming this time,'' said an official.

However, the problems in the electoral revision process seemed to continue in some areas in the outskirts. For instance, in Avadi, the problems related to shortage of forms and disorganised distribution.

Residents were denied multiple copies and asked to photo copy the forms. However, local party workers made use of the opportunity to `provide' forms outside the designated location.

A party volunteer in Avadi said he had taken 500 photocopies in the morning and distributed them to the residents free, `for their benefit'.

In Villivakkam, the Singaram Pillay Higher Secondary School witnessed a huge turnover of voters seeking revision forms. The acute shortage of forms left the residents waiting in long queues outside the counters. The staff members at the location said that they were given about 300 forms for the day's proceedings which were exhausted in a couple of hours. Additional forms were later brought from Ambattur.

The residents in the area waiting for the forms alleged that there was only one counter in the school with just two staffers involved in distributing and accepting forms. They also said the staff were not adequately trained, which caused more delay.

East Tambaram residents said the staff at the designated locations had enough forms. At Adambakkam, there was a good rush at the Little Flower School, and the staff managed to convince residents to photo copy the forms and submit them to avoid shortage. Unlike the previous round, many centres in Valasarawakkam had enough forms and in many places the local ward members were available with the voters list to guide residents.

At Ambattur, residents at Ram Nagar who encountered shortage of forms during the first phase said there was no such problem this time. At Porur too, this time the forms were made available. But the staff appeared to be inadequately equipped to deal with voter's doubts. The town panchayat president, Mr.Arunachalam, said the staff were unable to answer queries relating to cards issued earlier and what residents should do in the event of change of address and for incorporation of corrections.

Some of the designated stations in Chromepet ran out of forms in the morning and residents had to photocopy them.

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