Heatwave may result in low turnout in Lok Sabha polls: Experts

Chief Election Commissioner, Rajiv Kumar, convened a high-level meeting with the IMD chief to discuss possible attempts to regulate the situation

With six phases of elections still left, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast an increase in the number of heatwave days. As a result, a red alert for heat has been issued in West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and Karnataka as they, along with nine other states, prepare for the second phase of polls on Friday.

Pertinently, the Chief Election Commissioner, Rajiv Kumar, and the Election Commissioners convened a high-level meeting with the IMD chief to discuss possible attempts to regulate the situation. They also directed the CEOs of these states to make necessary arrangements like drinking water, awnings, and fans at all polling booths.

An IMD official told NDTV, “We have issued a red alert for heat in West Bengal for the next three days. Temperatures in Bihar will exceed 40 degrees Celsius. A heat wave is expected in eastern Uttar Pradesh after 24 hours and in western Uttar Pradesh after two days. The temperature will remain hot and humid in Kerala too.”

MS Education Academy

Due to the hot temperature, experts and the Election Commission are now worried about the possible low voter turnout as citizens find it challenging to travel and cast their vote in such weather conditions.

In Uttar Pradesh’s Ghaziabad, heat can be even more severe, and it has also seen a low voter turnout in successive elections.

Asked about the measures taken to take stock of the situation, an official said, “Adequate arrangements for drinking water are being made in every polling booth. We have done the mapping. Wherever this problem can occur, tents and other areas with shade are being set up so people can get a reprieve from the heat. Polling booths have also been set up in complexes, so voters won’t have to travel far.”

How you can deal with the heatwave

Senior Scientist at the IMD, Dr. Naresh, said that voters can also take steps on their own to deal with the heatwave. They can do so by safeguarding themselves and staying hydrated.

“According to the guidelines issued by the National Disaster Management Authority, people should wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothes and cover their heads with a cap or cloth. They should keep themselves covered and not expose too much of the body to the heat,” he said.

He further added that people should “always carry plenty of fluids and water and keep an eye on the daily forecast as well as the advisories of the India Meteorological Department.”

Back to top button