The Election Commission (EC) is expected to get delivery of around 30,000 voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) voting machines by the first week of September, enabling it to hold 100% paper trail-based assembly polls in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh at the end of this year. The commission, which has a stock of 53,500 VVPAT machines, requires around 70,000 units for Gujarat polls and around 15,000 units to conduct Himachal Pradesh elections. The additional 30,000 machines will complete the requirement for two state polls.
At a commission meeting on Friday, the EC was informed that the two suppliers, Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and Electronics Corporation of India Ltd (ECIL), were running behind the delivery schedule.
“It seems they are a week behind the August 31 deadline… So the commission has decided to impress upon them to expedite things to make good the delay and deliver the units preferably by August 31 itself. This will give us time to prepare the machines and hold the training/familiarisation sessions,” an EC functionary told TOI on Friday.