With the district in the election mode, the district administration has tightened the restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 during electioneering.
Though Kottayam District Collector M. Anjana has decided not to extend the curfew imposed on the district under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure as part of the pandemic prevention initiatives, the restrictions at the ground level are slated to continue.
“The functional period of monitoring teams headed by sector magistrates, appointed to ensure compliance with the curfew and the COVID-19 preventive measures, has expired. But the incident commanders will continue to oversee the prevention-related restrictions while quick response teams will be on duty in all centres,” Ms. Anjana said.
So far, the authorities have initiated action against 31,494 persons in connection with violations of the COVID-19 prevention directives.
Meanwhile, a district-level monitoring cell has been formed to address the disputes relating to the local body polls and to take immediate action on complaints of violation of the code of conduct. The cell, having the District Collector as its chairperson, comprises the Deputy Director of Panchayats, the District Police Chief, the Deputy Collector of Elections, and the District Information Officer.
As part of implementing the election code of conduct , anti-defacement squads have been formed in the district and taluks. The squads will inspect notices, banners, boards, posters, graffiti, announcements and public meetings. Campaigns through social media too will be monitored.
The squads, having the tahsildar as taluk level nodal officer, will be coordinated by Additional District Magistrate Anil Oommen at the district level.