Bhubaneswar: Voting for the second phase Panchayat election has begun today at 7 am and will continue till 12 noon. Counting will start at 1 pm.
Polling is underway at 175 Zilla Parishad zones under 65 blocks of 29 districts, except Deogarh. Poll was not conducted as a Zilla Parishad member was declared elected unopposed in Polsara block of Ganjam district. Around 53.62 lakh voters are exercising franchise at 18581 wards under 1386 gram panchayats.
The State Election Commission has made elaborate arrangements for the smooth conduct of polls. CCTV cameras have been installed at sensitive and hyper sensitive booths. Two polling officers, one presiding officer and two security personnels have been engaged in each booth.
Special security arrangements have been put in place at Maoist-hit districts like Nuapada, Malkangiri,Koraput and Gajapati.
In view of the naxal threat to the panchayat polls, combing operation and scrutiny and frisking of vehicles have been intensified in the extremist-hit zones.