This note deals with the transport arrangements to made for the smooth conduct of ensuing West Bengal General Assembly Elections, 2011.
· Knowing very well that ensuing Assembly Elections, 2011 for Birbhum district will be held on 23rd April, 2011, it is imperative that a good transport plan and cognate arrangements are in place for smooth conduct of elections as well as for proper functioning of election related officials i.e. the election Observers, the police personnel including Central Police Forces, the polling personnel, including Micro Observers, Assistant Expenditure Observers, Sector Officers, candidates/election agents, political parties and district/sub-district officials.
· Normally, the transport arrangements in the district are central in nature. The District Magistrate & District Election Officer, as per Representation of People’s Act, is the sole requisitioning authority of the vehicles. All vehicles, thus, so requisitioned for the election purpose have to be taken under the seal and signature of the DM & DEO only.
· However, for the sake of convenience the same could also be done in a decentralised manner e.g. requisition of vehicles by BDOs for mobility of the sector officers.
The District Transport Cell is comprised of the following officials:
A.D.M.-in-charge = Shri Shyamasis Roy, WBCS (Exe) – ADM (Land Reforms)
Officer-in-charge = Shri
WBCS (Exe), R.T.O., Birbhum.
The Transport Cell will follow the following principles in general:
a) As far as small vehicles are concerned, the District Transport Cell/SDOs/BDOs shall try to requisition all the existing government/semi-government/public sector undertaking vehicles first and then would requisition the local plying/available vehicles as per requirements. For such local requisition, the District Transport Cell would supply the requisition books, as per the assessment from respective ends. Excess requisitions shall be avoided. The District Transport Cell will send requisitioned vehicles from the headquarters, only on following consideration;
i) The need at local level must be genuine;
ii) Requisition must be for minimum duration.
b) As far as big vehicles are concerned, the same principle as mentioned above may be followed. However, while distributing the route requisition pattern, it should be ensured that
i) The principle of proximity is followed and the route proximate to the sub-division/DCRC, are allowed to the DCRC concerned.
ii) No road goes completely dry on the poll day.
iii) While requisitioning vehicles, they should keep in mind any vehicle exemption orders from the ECI/CEO offices or any genuine need of the owner subject to the full satisfaction and appreciation of the ground for exemption, if any, by the requisitioning officers.
c) The route tagged to DCRC may be planned carefully in advance in consultation with SDOs and Operators’
Union. To facilitate the process of movement at the DCRC, some representatives of the operators’ union should remain present and assist the MVIs in carefully assessing the DCRC deficit and arranging the tagging of vehicles.
d) The District Transport Cell will monitor
i) The advance preparation of route charts.
ii) Advance fixation of needs.
iii) Maintenance of Log Sheet as per rules and norms.
iv) The cell shall coordinate with other cells like Observers’ Cell, Polling Personnel’ Cell, Training Cell, EVM Cell, Infrastructures Cell etc. for smooth and proper movement of election personnel and materials.
v) The vehicles earmarked for carrying polling personnel from respective points to the Dispersal Centre should be properly planned and they should all report at the designated locations in time so that the polling personnel could report at the DC in time.
vi) The Transport Cell should also tie up arrangements for dropping the polling personnel at scheduled points as per assessments and requirements.
vii) Shall monitor the fueling arrangement to the extent practicable. It would identify the fuel pumps in advance and will settle the advance payment if any is to be made, in consultation with the distributors/representatives as well as concerned SDOs.
viii) All the vehicles should be properly marked in advance for the routes and polling stations to which they are assigned.
ix) A meeting with all the concerned petrol pump owners and operators should be held to tie up these arrangements in advance.
x) Distribute the Khorakis etc. for drivers/Khalasi as per government orders. The Cell shall also coordinate with the Postal Ballot Paper Cell for issuing Postal Ballots to the drivers and Khalasi, thus, engaged for election duties.
xi) The Transport Cell will also maintain constant liaison with the similar cells formed at the SDO level.
All the officers and staff members shall coordinate their functions with members of the different election-related cells for smooth conduct of the elections.
Dr. Saumitra Mohan, IAS.