Mysuru: Karnataka Chief Electoral Officer, who has the responsibility of holding a free and fair voting in Karnataka on May 12, has placed an order for 1,32,000 vials of indelible ink with city-based Mysore Paints and Varnish Limited (MPVL). The indelible ink will be applied on the forefinger of the left hand to prevent people from voting multiple times.
The order was placed last month and the MPVL is ready to supply the vials to the Election Commission whenever it is asked for. Speaking to SOM this morning, MPVL Chairman H.A. Venkatesh said, “The Chief Electoral Officer had ordered for 1,32,000 vials of 10 ml each of indelible ink and 20,000 packets of sealing wax. We are ready to supply it at any moment.”
Public Sector Unit MPVL (earlier called MyLAC) was set up soon after independence and it is the only company in India authorised to produce indelible ink. “Each 10 ml bottle of indelible ink can be used on 800 people and with this order, the expected turnover is Rs.2.06 cr.,” he said.
Asked about the indelible Ink marker pen, MPVL Chairman said, “This time ECI asked us for indelible ink and hence we are ready to supply it. If it wants marker pen we can supply that also. The only difference between the two is that in indelible ink you have to use a brush to mark the ink while in marker pen it can be marked directly.”
There are 56,696 polling stations in Karnataka and each booth will be given 2 vials of 10 ml each. A vial of indelible ink will cost Rs. 126, he added.
MPVL Chemist K. Vishalakshi said, “The moment the orders are placed, we start the production and start quality check of the vials. Before the vials are packed in cartons, we check five vials in each batch and after it is packed we once again do random checks.”
According to Vishalakshi, the shelf life of each vial is six months. “Since 1962, we have always supplied indelible ink on time. We are ready to work overtime to fulfil the order commitment and we have not failed in even a single schedule so far and we do not intend to fail,” said Vishalakshi with a great deal of pride in her organisation.
Indelible ink worth Rs.5.69 crore was supplied to the elections in Gujarat last year and other local body elections of different States as also the Assembly elections of Nagaland, Meghalaya and Tripura, said MPVL Chairman Venkatesh.
The company had also supplied 1,000 specially designed ballot marking pens to the Presidential elections held during July last year and another 389 similar pens were supplied to Legislative Council Elections of Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, he added.
MPVL had also supplied 794 indelible marker pens to State Election Commission, Karnataka and other Co-operative Societies elections. “The company had set a target of Rs.12 crore during 2017-18 and achieved Rs.10.69 crore in the indelible ink sector while it has achieved Rs.8.80 crore as on Jan.18 in paint sector,” said Venkatesh.