Shimla, Apr 2 : The Border Road Organisation (BRO) has been asked to initiate the process for allowing short term usage of the 8.8 kms Rohtang tunnel for facilitating the transportation of men and machinery and election related material, stated Chief Electoral Officer Devesh Kumar here on Tuesday.
However, the BRO is gearing up to begin snow-clearance operation on the Manali-Leh highway and has assured to try getting it through by mid April before the elections to connect 13,050 feet high Rohtang Pass. Allowing short term use of the tunnel will particularly facilitate the polling personnel on duty. The BRO and Public Works Department have been asked to work in unison.
Simultaneously, in a meeting to review the election preparedness, chaired by Chief Secretary BK Agarwal, instructions were given to upkeep the rural roads and maintain paths connecting the polling booths. Directions were also issued to keep manpower and machinery ready for clearance of roads in view of landslides. The provision of air ambulance for airlifting of security and polling personnel was also discussed for providing immediate evacuation and medical-care for those on election duty. The General Administrative Department was entrusted the job of providing state chopper with medical and rescue teams in case of emergency, if any.
Besides, the Chief Secretary issued instructions for intensifying the vigil adjoining border areas for effective monitoring and checking of flow of illicit liquor, cash, illegal arms and drugs. Directions were issued to police department to install CCTV cameras at sensitive locations without much delay. Stress was laid upon more inter-state coordination among excise commissioners of bordering states.
Instructions were issued to the education department to provide additional manpower during the polls and maintenance of polling stations as maximum are housed in educational institutions. Additional Chief Secretaries Anil Khachi, Ram Subhag Singh, Nisha Singh, Sanjay Gupta and RD Dhiman, DGP SR. Mardi, Principal Secretaries Prabodh Saxena and JC Sharma were also present on the occasion amongst other officers of various department. (UNI)