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GIS map to identify vulnerable polling booths

KRISHNAGAR, West Bengal, India: Even as police launched a massive crackdown on anti-social elements in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections, the Nadia district administration, perhaps for the first time, has come up with a GIS map to identify vulnerable areas and sensitive booths in both the Krishnagar and Ranaghat constituencies.

“This would invariably help us monitor the whole election process from the district headquarters and we can easily take measures to ensure peaceful polling,” said Mr Onkar Sign Meena, district magistrate.

According to Mr Meena, the mapping of vulnerability was based on some parameters fixed by the Election Commission of India (ECI) and with the help of the Geographical Information System (GIS), the administration has already identified 1,000 vulnerable booths in both the constituencies.

“After uploading statistics in the GIS software, it has automatically generated maps of vulnerable zones in varied colours besides giving thorough information of these areas,” Mr Meena added.

Unlike the previous elections, the Election Commission, this time, has adopted some parameters to classify booths as sensitive or hyper-sensitive. It should be noted that the word ‘sensitive’ does not merely refer to ‘polling booths’, but to the entire area housing the booth as security has to be provided to the total area that comes under its jurisdiction.

Superintendent of police Mr H K Kusumakar said the booths would be classified as sensitive if they had registered over 75 percent polling in the previous polls or if a candidate had managed to secure more than 75 per cent of the total votes polled in the booth.