New Delhi: A red-carpet welcome, spruced-up infrastructure and e-rickshaws on Wednesday greeted voters at the nine `model polling stations` here -- an initiative of the Delhi election office to make voting a pleasant experience.
The unique arrangement drew large appreciation from the voters at these polling stations across nine districts. "We walked the red carpet escorted by poll duty officials to the booth. Tents were set up and comfortable seating arrangements made. I felt as if I have come to a wedding," said a voter at one of these stations.
The facility of battery-powered rickshaws or e-rickshaws to ferry voters from the entrance gate to the polling booth was a spectacle at Sarvodaya Bal Vidyalaya polling station in Laxminagar constituency.
A group of senior citizens that reached the venue gate were excited to board the e-rickshaws which had poster on them reading "May I help you" to reach the polling booths.
"We were surprised as an e-rickshaw stopped in front of us and offered us a ride from the entrance gate to the polling booth. It was really a care-taking initiative on the part of the commission," said Avam Singh, a 65-year-old voter.
70-year-old Kamla Bhatia, another voter at the station, rejoiced as she enjoyed her ride in the e-rickshaw. E-rickshaw facility was available only at this polling station.
The `model polling stations` also had spruced-up infrastructure, including freshly-painted interiors and exteriors, along with a prominently-displayed board conveying the names of the location, polling stations, assembly constituency, election district, ECI symbol, national emblem and Delhi logo (in blue and white colours) along with first-aid medical facilities.
"We have never seen such decked-up polling stations. They were so clean with proper lighting and ventilation. There were arrangements of drinking water, clean toilets and furniture," said R K Jindal who had cast his vote at N P Co-Ed Senior Secondary School at Havlock Square in New Delhi constituency.
During queue management, priority was given to patients, pregnant women, old people and differently-abled persons for voting. There were signage directing voters to their polling locations.
"The aim was to boost voter turnout and also offer the voters a pleasant and comfortable experience," said District Election Offier of East District Krishna Mohan Uppu.