Election Commissioner Shri Anup Chandra Pandey along with Secretary General Shri Umesh Sinha, Director General Shri Dharmendra Sharma and other senior officers of ECI today planted saplings at India International Institute of Democracy and Election Management (IIIDEM), New Delhi premises on the occasion of World Environment Day. The Commission also unveiled a booklet and inaugurated an exhibition on various eco-friendly initiatives taken by the Election Commission of India and Chief Electoral Officers in the States during elections.
Addressing the occasion, Election Commissioner Shri Anup Chandra Pandey said Reduce, Reuse and Recycle is an integral motto of our approach for environmentally sound election management practices. Celebration of Environment Day every year reaffirms its importance. This year’s Environment Day focus is on ‘Living Sustainably in Harmony with Nature’ and the apt slogan “Only One Earth”. He added that ECI with initiatives like digitization of various processes like online facilitation for registration of voters; Apps like Voter Helpline App, SUVIDHA portal, KYC App, cVigil, e-EPIC, PwD app, Voter Turnout App to digitize processes catering to various stakeholders; online nomination facility for candidates; avoiding single use plastic in display materials for voter awareness; ensuring proper waste disposal management; has endeavored to ensure environment friendly elections.
Shri Pandey appreciated the meticulous planning and execution of disposal of biomedical waste during the Bihar Assembly elections 2020 held amidst COVID Pandemic, as an example and case study for other CEOs to emulate.
ECI has directed all its State CEOs to ensure compliance to Plastic and Solid Waste Management rules as notified by the Government. The teams have also been asked to take due care to ensure that publicity material like flex, pamphlets, bags etc. should be as per Government’s guidelines and avoiding ‘Single Use Plastics’.
The exhibition unveiled on the occasion showcased various initiatives and innovations taken by the CEOs in ensuring green elections, like Model eco-friendly polling stations set up in Goa & Puducherry using Coconut shells, palm leaves; use of eco-friendly seed pens by polling personnel in Meghalaya, the ‘Grow With Democracy’ plantation drive in Assam’s Kakoijana Reserve Forest where 32,000 saplings were planted in a record time of 32 minutes, are amongst some noteworthy initiatives. A major push has been given for eco-friendly infrastructure, with many CEOs adopting LED lighting, rainwater harvesting systems and solar panels in their office premises and EVM warehouses. The recently launched Integrated Election Complex in Bakhtawarpur is an eco-friendly and green building with minimum energy demand and solar panels installed on the rooftop. Further, many CEOs have been working to adopt e-office systems for paperless offices.
The exhibition will continue to be hosted in IIIDEM for information of national and international participants of varied courses coming periodically to the campus.