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October 2020
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ED grills Farooq Abdullah for six hours in JKCA graft case, People''s Alliance says it''s vendetta        NCW seeks explanation from Kamal Nath for his remarks against MP minister        Imran Khan incapable and clueless; betrayed people of Pakistan: Opposition leaders        Nawaz Sharif''s son-in-law arrested in Pakistan        Kerala''s Covid tally touches 3.33 lakh with 5,022 fresh cases        HC restrains Customs from arresting Sivasankar till Oct 23, suspended officer discharged from hospital        Buttler, bowlers guide RR to seven-wicket win over CSK        Punjab beat MI in second Super Over        Saina, Sindhu's biggest Graffiti in India unveiled        Trump leans into fear tactics in bid to win Midwest states        US polls: New Congress could have more Indian Americans to the House Advertisement        Active COVID-19 cases below 8 lakh for 2nd day in row; recovery rate 88.03 pc        Flood situation grim in parts of Telangana, Karnataka        Dalit woman gang-raped at gunpoint in UP        Army pressed into service in 4 flood-hit Karnataka dists; CM to undertake aerial survey        Pakistan pacer Umar Gul announces retirement from all forms of cricket        HDFC Bank Q2 net profit rises 16% to Rs 7,703 cr        Biden warns Trump wants to scrap health law        BJP govt has surrendered in front of criminals: Akhilesh        Rahul Gandhi, Capt Amarinder vow to force centre to revoke black farm laws        
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Offbeat
When donkeys lent a helping hand to TN poll officials
 
Chennai: While GPS-fitted vehicles are deployed to transport poll materials like EVMs in the State, such technology or vehicles do not always help; especially when it comes to hilly terrains of Tamil Nadu to send across election paraphernalia.

Particularly, where there are no roads to reach hamlets on hill tops -leave alone motorable ones- the challenge is more pronounced and carrying EVMs, and control units within the stipulated time frame is no mean task.

A slew of such remote villages are spread across Tamil Nadu including those atop hills in the districts of Dharmapuri, Dindigul, Erode, Namakkal, and Theni with voters ranging between 300 and 1,100 in a given polling station.

Several booths in remote locations like Kottur in the Pennagaram region of Dharmapuri and hamlets on Bothamalai in Namakkal pose the challenge of rocky terrain too.

To surmount the challenge, poll officials loaded election materials -neatly packed in gunny bags- on donkeys and ponies and they carried some of the luggage on their heads to reach the designated polling stations and the ardous journey was in the range of 9 to 11 kilometers on the hills.

Vellakkevi and Pallathukadu in the Kodaikanal hill ranges (Dindigul), Kathiripatti (Erode) and Kedamalai (Namakkal) were among the hilly villages officials reached overcoming the challenges with the help of donkeys and ponies.

Also, some villages like Vellakkevi are located amid dense forests and poll officials were assisted by the anti-naxal police personnel to reach the hamlets.


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