In view of the next month's Maharashtra Assembly polls, the Kolhapur and Sangli district administrations have decided to distribute duplicate voter ID cards to nearly 5.5 lakh people whose documents were damaged or lost during floods last month, officials said on Monday.
Over 340 villages in Kolhapur were fully or partially affected by the unprecedented deluge after heavy rains. Of these, around 27 villages in Shirol, Hatkanangale and Karvirtehsils bore maximum brunt of the calamity.
"Since the state Assembly polls are now approaching,we have decided to distribute duplicate voter identification cards to voters in these 27 villages," Kolhapur Collector Daulat Desai said.
Over 1.5 lakh duplicate voter ID cards have been printed for distribution among these villages, he said. Similarly, in neighboring Sangli, the authorities have so far distributed over two lakh duplicate voter IDs to people from Shirala, Walwa, Palus and Miraj tehsils, which were severely affected by floods, an official from Sangli district administration said.
"Assuming that people living in these flood-ravaged areas might have misplaced their important documents, we had sought over four lakh duplicate voter IDs. So far, we have received over 3.8 lakh duplicate voter IDs and more than two lakh of these have been distributed among people," he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Desai appealed to people in Kolhapur to approach local authorities to seek duplicate voter ID cards,if they have lost them during floods. Elections for 288 Assembly seats in the state will beheld in a single phase on October 21 and the counting of votes will be done on October 24.