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In a first, GIS mapping in polls


For the first time in the country, the Election Commission (EC) has done Geographical Information System (GIS) mapping of all the polling stations for a free and fair voting in the Constituent Assembly election.

With the adaptation of this hi-tech system, the election body has recorded information about the road accessibility, state of infrastructure, means of communications, possibility of helicopter landing and the geographical details in around the polling stations.

Now the EC has GIS images of 10,017 polling stations across the country.

The EC obtained satellite maps from Google Earth and managed to record all the details concerning the polling stations in the new system by mobilising its staff. According to Chief Election Commissioner Neel Kantha Uprety, the GIS mapping is a strategic plan and it will be used while supplying sensitive electoral materials and deploying security personnel during the election. “Helicopters for emergency operation and rescue will also follow the GIS set points during the election,” said Uprety.

Election officials said the system will help them get information about the polling stations at their fingertips, mobilise security personnel accordingly for swift logistical arrangements in the polling stations. “All officials concerned at the EC headquarters and district election officers will have access to the system for official purposes,”

said Uprety.  Officials assigned to handle the GIS can also check whether voters have basic facilities like drinking water, weather and road accessibility.

An EC official, requesting anonymity, said security arrangement is being made as per the Integrated Security Plan. The Joint Election Operation Centre to be established under the EC will do GIS categorisation of the polling stations and deploy security officials on-demand basis.

Sources at the EC say a large number of Nepal Army personnel will be kept in the third layer of the security circle in 1,560 election constituencies categorised as the most sensitive and a few in 3,850 sensitive constituencies.

A commissioner said the EC is planning to mobilise temporary personnel only to arrange queues, check voters’ details and so on.

Posted on: 2013-09-22 08:27