Election Commission officials in Bihar are in a dilemma over arranging for 15,000 digital cameras to photograph two crore voters for photo identity cards.
The Election Commission had directed that photo identity cards be provided to all eligible voters by mid-September, in view of the assembly polls in state. But when officials began their work, they were rattled to learn that the number of digital cameras was insufficient to complete the process on time.
A senior official in the state election department said ongoing work for making photo identity cards was likely to be affected due to inadequate digital cameras.
"There is an acute shortage of cameras, we have to arrange it," the official said.
After announcing 'no photo identity card, no vote' for the next assembly polls in Bihar, the Election Commission had directed the district administrations to issue the cards by September 15.
EC advisor K J Rao had, during his visit to state last week, said people without cards would not be allowed to vote in the forthcoming assembly elections in the state.
Another official of the state election department said district officials had been directed to search for and hire hundreds of digital cameras to speed up the process of making of photo identity cards.
According to a conservative estimate, atleast 15,000 digital cameras were required to photograph voters in the 243 assembly constituencies in Bihar.
Bihar Chief Election Officer N K Sinha told rediff.com that they needed about 15-17,000 digital cameras for the ongoing work for making of photo identity cards.
"Unless digital cameras are available, it is difficult to provide cards to voters within the deadline prescribed by the EC," he said, adding that the department would soon issue an advertisement for hiring the digital cameras.
Sinha admitted that out of 52 million voters in the state, 20 million were yet to get the photo identity cards till date.