Friday, April 17, 2009

Voters can now get detailed info at kiosks

Sanjeev Kumar verma Writes for The Times of India :-

PATNA: Bihar has earned the distinction of becoming the first state in the country to install voters' information kiosks. Designed on the pattern of
ATMs, voters can get information pertaining to their booth number, serial number in voters' lists etc. by keying in the name of the constituency they belong to, their name or other details like the PAN card number etc. in the machine. In case of similar names, voters would also have to enter their father's name. Apart from individual information, details can also be gathered about family members. The Election Commission (EC) would install eight such kiosks in Patna. Two of them, one on the EC office premises and the other on the premises of the Bihar Rajya Pul Nirman Nigam (BRPNN), have already become functional. The six other kiosks, which would be made functional soon, are proposed to be set up at different places, including one at the Patna district magistrate's office and one at Patna airport. Funds for the kiosks have been provided by BRPNN under the corporate social responsibility (CSR) head. About Rs 15 lakh were allocated for this purpose. The software for running the machine has been provided by the EC and it is tailor-made to suit the requirements of voters. "For now, we have uploaded information about Patna voters only and there are plans afoot to load information about voters of all 40 parliamentary constituencies of Bihar into these eight machines," chief electoral officer Sudhir Kumar Rakesh said. Rakesh also said the EC might consider installing more such machines in other districts of Bihar. "All depends on the success of the move in Patna," he added. A senior Bihar government official, who requested anonymity, told TOI on Thursday that there are many corporations in the state which are in a position to provide funds under the CSR head to install such machines in districts. "It will depend on how the EC goes about it," he said. Meanwhile, many Patna residents termed the EC move as voter-friendly. "There are many voters who fail to get details about their booths due to lack of time. The kiosk would prove to be a boon for such voters," said Arun Kumar, a city businessman