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In Arunachal Pradesh, EC Officials Airlifted to Remote Polling Booth on Myanmar Border

The Indian Air Force in an AN-32 transport helicopter transported 32 personnel in two sorties to Myanmar bordering Vijaynagar.

Biju Kumar Deka | News18

Updated:May 9, 2019, 2:14 PM IST
In Arunachal Pradesh, EC Officials Airlifted to Remote Polling Booth on Myanmar Border
Polling officials prepare to be airlifted to the Vijaynagar circle in Arunachal Pradesh (News18)

Guwahati: The polling officials for upcoming the Lok Sabha election and Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly were airlifted to the remote Vijayanagar circle on the Indo-Myanmar border recently.

Four teams comprising of 32 polling personal including police personnel along with Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) and other polling materials were airlifted to the remote village bordering the Changlang district to hold elections at four polling stations that covers 3000 odd voters. Arunachal Pradesh is set to go to polls on April 11.

Speaking to News18, Kanki Darang, Additional Chief Election Officer of Arunachal Pradesh informed, "Each polling team comprises of one presiding officer, four polling officers, one attendant and a policeman with four sets of EVMs and VVPATs (one extra). They were airlifted by the Indian Air Force in an AN-32 transport helicopter in two sorties to Myanmar bordering Vijaynagar".

“The Gandhigram polling station has 1,338 voters, Ramnagar has 252 voters, Vijaynagar has 865 voters and Two Hut has 726 voters,” Kanki Darang added.

Vijaynagar is surrounded on three sides by Myanmar, while the other side is flanked by the large expanse of the thick forest of Namdapha National Park. Nearby cities are Miao (157KM, seven days walk), Hayuliang and Tezu in India. Putao (40KM) is the nearest city in Myanmar.

There is no road connection to the area of Vijayanagar. The village has an airport, but flights do not operate from it for most of the year. Miao, the nearest town in India, is 150KM away.

Vijaynagar is set to be the eastern terminus on the proposed Arunachal Pradesh Frontier Highway, which would be a 2,000KM route following the McMahon Line to Mago and Thingbu in the west.

The journey to Vijaynagar includes a 25-minute trip in an Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopter followed by one to eight hours of trekking. Hence, the connectivity remains the constant poll plank for the political parties in every election.

The 4,000-odd residents in 16 villages, comprising the Yobin (Lishu) tribe and retired Assam Rifles personnel, trek for six days (163-km) across the Namdapha National Park to reach Miao near the Assam border.

A polling booth in Hayuliang Assembly constituency has a lone voter (a woman) in the Malogam Temporary Structure polling station. Polling station 52 SE (power) offices, East Side, Naharlagun under Itanagar (ST) constituency will have a maximum of 1,340 voters.

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