Lok Sabha polls: Kerala sets a model in following Green Protocol

| Updated: 26 April, 2024 11:38 am IST

Thiruvananthapuram: As voters in Kerala are all set to go to polls to elect their representatives in the Lok Sabha on Friday (April 26), the state has set a model for the country by effectively implementing green protocol and waste disposal methods in all the 20 constituencies during election campaigns, successfully achieving the target of ‘garbage-free polls.’

The Office of the Chief Electoral Officer in Kerala in concert with Suchitwa Mission had brought out a handbook on the procedures to be followed strictly by the campaigners and election officials before the commencement of electioneering. Right from the start of the campaign, recycled materials were used by all stakeholders apart from drastically restricting single-use materials including plastics.

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No sooner had the campaign drawn to a close than the leftover campaign materials were collected from their source and handed over to scientific disposal centres with the cooperation of Haritha Karma Sena members (HKS) and cleaning workers.

Steps have also been taken to ensure clean conduct of polling. In the state capital, bio-toilets had been set up in places with more polling stations. Moreover, activities have begun establishing biodegradable and non-degradable bins and bottle booths on the Mar Ivanios College campus where the EVM machines will be kept for over a month.

Apart from installing two bins in all polling booths in northernmost Kasaragod, Suchitwa Mission assigned two HKS members to each booth for supervision. An awareness campaign titled ‘Cast Vote by Not Defeating Nature’ has been organised in Malappuram, besides making 25 polling booths in the district as model polling booths.

Nodal officers have been appointed in Palakkad to monitor the activities of HKS members on a constituency basis. Green protocol topic was also included in the training for polling officers in the district.

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In Kozhikode, during the campaign, Suchitwa Mission coordinated the garbage restriction activities in association with NSS by deploying 4,000 green activists. A total of 20 booths, including one each in the Blocks under Kozhikode and Vadakara constituencies and one incorporation/municipality limit will function as per the green protocol.

In Wayanad, one HKS member is in charge of each booth while green election training has been given to nodal officers in the Thrissur constituency besides conducting awareness campaigns for political parties.

The activities in Ernakulam included green booths under Block Panchayats, wall picture campaigns, documentary screenings, flash mobs, green booths in party offices, digital posters and bicycle rallies. In Alappuzha, the District Collector handed over a kit containing a reusable steel bottle, cloth bag and green protocol handbook to candidates, who filed nominations. Besides, two polling booths each in all municipalities in the district were made green booths.

Meanwhile, the Enforcement Squad in coordination with Election Anti-defacement Squad reported violations in Kottayam regarding the use of disallowed campaign materials.

State Chief Electoral Officer Shri Sanjay Kaul inaugurated the green election campaign organised by Suchitwa Mission in association with the district administration in Idukki. In Pathanamthitta, the District Enforcement Squad conducted inspections in printing shops regarding banned flexes.

In Kollam, the District Collector flagged off the bicycle rally organised by the District Cycling Association along with various athletic associations to spread the message of green election.

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 (KSWMP).

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