Mysuru: Three-tier security has been provided at Maharani’s College of Commerce and Management in Vinayakanagar (Paduvarahalli) where the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trial (VVPAT) machines and the Control Units are stored in strong rooms.
Votes were polled across eight Assembly segments (Chamaraja, Narasimharaja, Krishnaraja, Chamundeshwari, Hunsur, Periyapatna, Virajpet and Madikeri) that form the Mysuru-Kodagu Parliamentary seat yesterday and the counting will be held on May 23. The round-the-clock security will be present till the counting is over.
While the Nanjaraja Bahadur Choultry was used to store EVMs and related paraphernalia before the elections, the Maharani’s College of Commerce and Management is being used as strong rooms.
The inner layer of security is provided by Central Armed Police Force, the second layer security is provided by City Armed Reserve Police and the outer layer security by the City Police.
The ground, first and second floors of the building are being used as strong rooms and each Assembly segment has three rooms to store the EVMs, Control Units, VVPAT machines and postal ballots. In all, 24 rooms have been used for the Parliamentary seat and eight big halls have been allotted as counting centres.
After the polling concluded at 6 pm yesterday, the machines were sealed by the respective booth-level Presiding Officers and were handed over to the Assistant Returning Officers of the respective segments.
They were brought to the Maharani’s College of Commerce and Management under tight Police security.
While machines from Constituencies in Mysuru arrived by 2 am, due to rain in remote parts of Kodagu, vehicles that were transporting the voting machines from there arrived only this morning. After the EVMs and VVPATs were placed at respective places, the rooms were sealed.
Each EVM has a unique code number and have been stored in containers and coded according to booths and Constituencies. Since this time VVPATs are used in all the booths, the respective VVPAT machine is also numbered accordingly and coded. If there is any confusion regarding voting in any booth, VVPATs are taken out and the voter data is accessed by the Returning Officer.
The Strong Rooms (including windows) are sealed in such a way that no one has access. The entry point of Strong Rooms has CCTV coverage round-the-clock. Metal detectors have been set up at the main entrance and there are more than 100 CCTV cameras guarding the insides of the building and over 30 cameras have been set up for outside vigil.
A log book is being maintained by the security personnel where entries are made about date, time, duration and name(s) of anyone entering near the Strong Rooms. This includes visits by the Observers or District Election Officers, media, candidates or their agents or any other person.
A fire engine has been stationed outside the strong room along with the vehicles of Reserve Police. An Anti-Sabotage Team has been put on constant surveillance both inside and outside the building and Bomb Squad is conducting checks once in two hours.
As per the Election Commission norms, the existing power line to the building has been disconnected and fresh power lines have been drawn to prevent short circuits and other related accidents.
Today morning, Deputy Commissioner Abhiram G. Sankar, who is also the Returning Officer of the Mysuru-Kodagu seat, inspected the strong rooms along with City Police Commissioner K.T. Balakrishna and Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) M. Muthuraj.