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Lok Sabha Polls: Handbook on Green Protocol Released

In Environment, Kerala, News, Uncategorized
March 21, 2024

The Office of the Chief Electoral Officer in Kerala has come out with a handbook on the green protocol to be followed strictly by the campaigners and election officials during the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Chief Electoral Officer Sanjay Kaul released the handbook by handing the first copy to Suchitwa Mission Executive Director UV Jose here last evening. Additional Chief Electoral Officers Dr Adeela Abdullah, Sharmila C and Premkumar VR were also present.

Lok Sabha Elections 2024 Green Protocol Compliance Doubts and Answers was prepared in collaboration with the Suchitwa Mission and Haritha Keralam Mission. It guides stakeholders on using eco-friendly materials during the electioneering to minimise polluting garbage being generated.

Significantly, the elections are being held when the state government is pressing ahead with a massive ‘Malinya Muktam Nava Keralam’ campaign and a slew of other big-ticket schemes like the Kerala Solid Waste Management Project (KSWM).

The Election Commission of India has also issued instructions to use only nature-friendly materials for election-related activities. Propaganda materials using flex boards, plastic flag poles, polyester cloth and similar polluting substances should be strictly avoided.

Propaganda boards and banners should be made of cotton and paper. Natural materials like, panampaya, pulpaya, palm leaves, reeds, bamboo and areca nut leaves should also be used. Similarly, eco-friendly materials should be used to decorate election offices of political parties.

The District Election Officer will take legal action if prohibited materials are found to be used. The campaigners should explore the possibilities of digital technology, which will reduce use of non-degradable campaign materials significantly. It is also suggested that flower garlands, cotton shawls, books, and fruit baskets be given as gifts at receptions to candidates.

Polling officials should take care to avoid plastic items while setting up the polling booths. The polling officials and agents should use steel plates and glasses instead of plastic products while consuming food and water. Eco-friendly plates and glasses should be kept at polling stations.

The district administration should ensure that the voter slips are not left around the booths but delivered to the collection centres or handed over to scrap dealers.

After the elections, the local self-government bodies, political parties, the Haritha Keralam Mission, Suchitwa Mission and other voluntary organisations should remove the materials used for election campaigns and carry out cleaning activities. The Suchitwa Mission and various departments should take necessary steps based on the protocol, and the district election officers should be empowered to enforce it.