Bhopal: In a bid to attract voters to the polling booths and give a festive look to the electoral exercise, a few model polling stations are planned to be set up in the country for the first time, Election Commissioner of India Dr Nasim Zaidi said here on Sunday.
"Besides providing basic minimum facilities like drinking water, shed, toilets, ramps at all the polling stations, some model polling stations will be set up in the country to give a feeling of festivity, which is happening in India for the first time," Zaidi told reporters.
"People will have a pleasant experience at these model polling stations," he added.
However, he did not divulge any further details about this initiative.
Zaidi, along with the Deputy Election Commissioner Sudhir Tripathi, arrived here on a two-day visit to review the poll preparedness ahead of the three-phase Lok Sabha elections in Madhya Pradesh.
In Madhya Pradesh, polling will be held on April 10, 17 and 24, along with the by-polls for Vidisha assembly seat.
Voting for Vidisha by-poll will be held along with the Lok Sabha elections in the third phase on April 24, they said.
The Commission also informed that for the first time in the electoral history, the polling time has been increased by an hour in the entire country except in few areas.
"Now, polling will be held from 7 AM to 6 PM instead of earlier 5 PM," he said, adding, "This will also help in raising the poll percentage in the Lok Sabha elections."
He also informed that the total number of voters in the state is 4.8 crore, which is one crore more than the 2009 general elections.
Among them 2.53 crore are males and 2.27 crore are females. A total of 16.42 lakh voters are in the age group of 18-19 years, he said.
Earlier, the Commissioner also held a meeting with political parties` representatives and Divisional Commissioners, Range Inspector Generals, District Collectors and Superintendents of Police to review the preparations for the Lok Sabha polls.
They also held a meeting with the state Chief Secretary Antony DeSa and Director General of Police Nandan Dube to review the poll preparations.
A total of 54,827 polling stations are set up in the state`s 29 constituencies and there is an increase of 7,606 poll booths as compared to the 2009 elections.
The Commission has directed officials to take all possible measures for conducting polls in free and fair manner.