RANCHI: The by-election to the Mandar constituency scheduled on June 23 will set a precedent by being the first in the state to witness an eco-friendly poll procedure. The Election Commission (EC) has banned single-use plastic during the electioneering process and on the day of polling.
Speaking to TOI on Monday, which was also the last date for filing nominations, Jharkhand‘s chief electoral officer (CEO) K Ravi Kumar said, “Acting on an EC directive, we will ban single-use plastic during the Mandar bypoll. I think this will be the first time in the state that such a move is being adopted during elections. We have set up a committee under a magistrate-rank official to ensure the compliance of the order.”
Kumar also said, “Single-use plastic materials are often used in polling materials. We are working out their replacements. We will encourage eco-friendly materials during the training of poll officials and other activities related to the conduct of the entire electioneering process. In case some paraphernalia, which uses recyclable plastic is a must, we will ensure that these items are recycled.”
Asked if the political parties are bound by the rule, he said, “We are appealing to everyone to go green during campaigning and other activities as saving the environment is everyone’s responsibility.”
The CEO added, “However, the political parties don’t fall under the ambit of the EC directive as the move covers only the conduct of the election.”
Efforts on to set up eco-friendly dustbins, says Ranchi DC
Ranchi deputy commissioner-cum-district electoral officer Chhavi Ranjan said they are gearing up to ensure that the bypoll is a ‘green election’. There are around 429 polling booths in the Mandar constituency that fall under the Ranchi district.
“We have issued directives to the poll officials concerned to not use single-use plastic in any form for election-related work. Efforts are on to set up eco-friendly dustbins, ban thermocol plates and cups and support the usage of eco-friendly items for food and drinking water, besides planting saplings at polling booths and centres in a phased manner. Additionally, officials have been directed to propagate the message of a ‘green election’ at haats and villages in the constituency during the poll awareness drives,” he added.
Welcoming the move, political parties said they would try to minimise the damage to the environment during their campaigns.

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