As the country goes to local-level polls on Baisakh 30, NTA is prepared to set up high-speed internet at all the poll sites across the country. The initiative comes after the Election Commission requested the government to connect the polling sites by internet.
Nepal government has announced that the country will hold local-level elections on Baisakh 30 at 753 local levels. There is also a plan for electronic voting machines to use at a small scale at some polling booths.
NTA already has its RTDF program that sets up fiber broadband at community schools, wards, health centers, etc. This project is also reaching its completion but a few areas still remain without connection. The request by Election Commission will help further this project for the need during elections.
But it is not clear yet how many election sites will be connected by high-speed connection.
Meanwhile, Surendralal Hada, the chief, of the Infrastructure Development Section of NTA, most of the polling booth has access to high-speed broadband. “We are starting a plan to set up connections at remaining venues. We may establish internet by V-SAT at sites without 4G or Fiber connection,” he added.
Election Commission Secretary Gokarnamani Duwadi said the upcoming local polls will use ICT to ensure fairness. He also adds that exploiting technology will help make the elections more systematic than in previous years.
Electronic voting machines and internet in local-level elections
Besides, the high-speed internet, the upcoming local-bodies elections will see a low-scale use of electronic voting machines. The Commission is going to use EVMs in a few booths inside the Kathmandu valley and a few others outside.
For this, the government is likely to use home-grown machines developed by Ram-Lakshman Pvt. Ltd. These will replace the ballot papers and the boxes at the booth and render elections fair and efficient.
With the EVMs, and high-speed internet availability, the upcoming local-level elections will be a new leap for Nepal seeking to reinforce Digital Nepal Framework in all sectors.
How satisfying is it that the Nepali government is bringing high-speed internet to the local-level elections coming to this Baisakh? Do share your opinions in the comments below.