How voter-friendly was Noida?
As the Noida assembly elections culminated on February 11, voters have locked the fate of 14 candidates fraying for the assembly seat. There were 483 polling stations across the city and voting continued till 5 pm.
Despite district election commission's efforts, the turnout of voters, at 51 per cent, was low.
Arti Kumari, a voter from sector 50, could not cast her vote, as despite having a voter ID card, her name did not appear in the electoral rolls.
“I was not given an opportunity to exercise my right," said Kumari, visibly dejected. "My husband Niraj Kumar, our two daughters and I visited the polling stations at Ramagya Public School, a private institute in Sector 50. Luckily, they were able to cast their votes. The presiding officer did not allow me to vote."
The district election commission had altered the polling stations of several sectors, due to which several voters were inconvenienced.
Harish Taneja, a voter from Sector 52, said the polling stations for residents of his were altered to Sector 50 and locating it was an ordeal. He said it took him almost half an hour to search for the new polling station.
Similarly, the octogenarian couple, Ranjeet Singh Badal and Mahindra Kaur Badal had to travel to Sector 50 from Sector 52. She said despite being senior citizens, the polling stations were changed while her kin casted votes at their polling stations in their Sector.
Several voters decided to stay at home instead of going through all the trouble to vote. DK Khosla and his wife who could not locate their polling stations, had to return home without casting their vote.
RWAs of the city complained that despite applying for transfer of their altered polling stations, there was no change. AN Dhavan, secretary general of Federation of Noida RWAs, said voters were angry that their polling stations were not reverted despite applying for it well in advance.
However, residents of Noida's new Sectors were quite enthusiastic as they turned up in large numbers. There was a serpentine queue in front of the community centre at Sorkha Jahidabad village, one of the polling booth centres for the new sectors.
The other polling station for the new sectors was at Parthala Village, where voters had a tough time as they were unaware of the fact that the centre did not allow them to carry mobile phones.
Girish Chauhan, a resident of Sector 122, said it had been intimated that carrying of mobile phones was restricted. He said his wife and he took turns at voting, while the other waited outside with both the phones.