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Voting is ‘uphill task’ in U’khand

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Dehradun, 10 April (IANS): Voting will literally be an uphill task for thousands of people in the tough mountainous reaches of Uttarakhand, which goes to the polls on Thursday.
Residents will cover a distance of over 20 km to cast their votes at Dumak polling booth in the hilly Chamoli district falling in the Pauri Lok Sabha seat. This will be the maximum pedestrian distance in the hill state.
But Dumak is not the only polling booth where the democratic exercise will be a challenge for the voters. People in Tehri district will also trek 19 km to reach Ghudsal polling booth to exercise their franchise for the Tehri Lok Sabha seat.
Similarly, voters will trek 18 km to reach Kalgot in Chamoli district, Pilang in Uttarakashi district and Kanaar in Pithoragarh district.
“The distances to many polling booths are very long here,” said Saujanya, the state’s Chief Electoral Officer (CEO). In 11 polling booths, the distances are between 15-20 km. In 54 polling booths in Pauri district, voters must cover a treacherous mountain route of 5 to 10 km.
With Uttarakhand facing large-scale migration of population to the plains for jobs, some of the state’s polling booths are among those with the least voters. For example, Pand in Lansdowne area of the Pauri Lok Sabha seat has been set up for only 34 voters.