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CEO UT Ladakh Yetindra M. Maralkar Chairs Meeting regarding Air Sorties for Remote Polling Stations

LEH: Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), UT Ladakh, Yetindra M. Maralkar chaired a crucial meeting to discuss the requirements of air sorties and related matters for the upcoming election in the 1-Ladakh Parliamentary Constituency in the fifth phase on 20th May 2024.

The meeting focused on ensuring seamless logistical support for the transportation of polling teams to remote polling stations in the Leh and Kargil districts.

During the meeting, both the DCs/DEOs were asked to project their requirement for Air sorties to lift polling parties and security personnel to remote and inaccessible locations.

In response, DC/DEO, Kargil apprised that Ralakung, Phema, and Shadey Polling Stations in Kargil District shall require Air Sorties whereas DC/DEO, Leh projected Lingshed, Dipling, Zhingchen, Kartse, Skumpata, and Skumpata Gongma Pooling Stations shall require Air Sorties.

Subsequently, CEO Yetindra M. Maralkar asked Wing Commander Arjun Singh to share his view and inputs on the technical and logistic requirements of the Indian Air Force vis-à-vis the proposal of airlifting of pooling personnel submitted by both the DCs/DEOs.

In response, Arjun Singh informed the chair that he would check the suitability of different types of aircraft for different locations based on the geo-coordinates of the helipads and their technical specifications like size and altitude.

He also apprised that trial landing on these locations shall be started within the next one or two days; and, only after completing such formalities, the actual and exact number of sorties required shall be shared.

He also suggested that, given the unpredictable weather pattern in the Himalayas, it would be better to start the sorties for lifting polling personnel a day or two in advance.

The chair agreed to the idea and decided to commence sorties from the 16th to 18th of May for the six Polling Stations in Leh District followed by sorties on the 17th and 18th of May for the three Polling Stations in Kargil District.

In the end, the CEO appealed to all the stakeholders in the elections to put in their best efforts in making a comprehensive plan to ensure timely and efficient transportation of polling teams to their designated polling stations thereby giving the voters in far-flung areas a hassle-free platform to exercise their democratic right to caste vote so that not even a single vote go waste.

The meeting was attended by DIG Ladakh Range, S. J. Mahmood (SPNO), Returning Officer, 1-Ladakh Parliamentary Constituency (DEO, Leh), Santosh Sukhadeve, SSP Leh Shruti Arora, Joint CEO, Sonam Chosjor, Additional Secretary Election, Swaran Singh, Major Nikhil Vikram, 614 (I) Army Aviation, and Dechen, Under Secretary, Civil Aviation Department, UT Ladakh.

Wing Commander Arjun Singh of IAF, DEO Kargil, Shrikant Balasaheb Suse, SSP Kargil, Shree Ram, and SDM Zanskar, Romil Singh Donk joined the meeting through video conferencing.

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