Cab aggregator Ola has announced that it will provide free rides to the person with disabilities (PWD) in Karnataka across Bengaluru, Mysuru, and Mangaluru on the Election Day today and Ballari, Hubali-Dharwad, Gulbarga, and Belgaum on April 23, 2019. Karnataka is having a two-phase Lok Sabha polls with 14 of the 28 seats going for polling today i.e. April 18. The second phase will be on April 23.
The sole purpose of offering free rides is to let more people become part of the electoral process and increase the participation of PWD's in the elections who, otherwise' wouldn't have voted. Ola has assigned 270 cabs to the Karnataka Chief Electoral Officer including the civic bodies in various cities to ferry PWD voters to the booth.
In a statement, Ola said, "In a bid to increase voter participation, Ola has partnered with the office of the Chief Electoral Officer of Karnataka and Mangalore Zilla Panchayat, the Bengaluru District Electoral Officer, and the Commissioner of Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), and the District Electoral Officer and Commissioner of Mysore Corporation to provide free rides to PWD voters."
Ola has set up separate help lines to help PWD voters and address their queries and issues. The numbers are 9071464553 / 7624915133, Ola said in its release. In order to verify the status of the scheduled pickups of the PWD voters, IVRs related to the ECs rules will be played on the driver partners' mobile phones.
"The upcoming Lok Sabha elections are the largest democratic elections held in the world and ease of mobility is integral to the effective functioning of the system. In the recent past, we have seen that availability of convenient transport options has resulted in positive voter turnout and we will continue to back initiatives that support the constitutional machinery of the country," said Vishnu Bommareddy, Regional Head - South at Ola.
"We are grateful to Ola and appreciate their efforts in enabling seamless transportation so that every citizen can go out and vote," Surya Sen AV, Joint Chief Electoral Officer of Karnataka, said.
Edited By: Udit Verma