Polling officials trekked for over 24km through snow-bound terrain to ensure that 275 voters in a Tehri Garhwal constituency got to exercise their franchise.
Dehradun: Uttarakhand went to polls on Wednesday and 68% voters turned up at polling booths to cast their ballots, a record for the hill state.
Part of the credit is due to a group of polling officials who trekked for over 24km through snow-bound terrain to ensure that 275 voters in a Tehri Garhwal constituency got to exercise their franchise.
Booths in the Ghansali constituency were among the 479 snowed-in booths across Uttarakhand where polling parties after long treks.
Situated at a height of 10,000 feet, the Ghansali constituency area has no motorable road and no mobile phone connectivity, leaving trekking as the only way to reach the location, said an Election Commission officer.
In Chamoli district’s Badrinath constituency, a polling party began trekking on February 12 and after a three-day journey successfully facilitated elections on Wednesday. The poll panel said the party will begin its return trek with the EVMs on Thursday and will reach the base point where votes will be counted on March 11.
Snow boots, sleeping bags and 74 mules were provided to the polling party to reach these snow-bound constituencies.
Speaking to CNN-News18, Chamoli SP Preety said: "In Dumuk, the polling party had to trek for 24 km. They started on February 13 and we used VHS sets to keep in touch. In most other places, we ensured that booths were at the base. Since most residents here have a summer house in the plains, we could do this."
(Photos and inputs from Mukesh Yadav)