Shillong (Meghalaya), Aug 10, 2018

In an era of Information Technology where virtually no geographical area has been left untouched, there are still pockets where accessibility – both physical and technical – is still a huge challenge due to lack of proper infrastructure and where only human footsteps are the only means of link to outside world.

Meghalaya too has such pockets in South West Khasi Hills district like Nongmalang, Amarsang, Pormawdar, Mawlongbah and Myriaw villages that are still accessible only by walking for hours.

Now, having to set up polling booths in these villages, all of which fall under Ranikor Assembly constituency and where a by-poll is scheduled on 23rd August, the Election Commission of India is banking on a historical practice – involving runners.

The commission will hire professional runners of South West Khasi Hills district for the purpose of delivering important messages to and fro – between the district headquarters and polling booths in these villages – as these hamlets are out of reach of any mobile network and lack motorable roads too.

In addition to the runners, the polling teams will be equipped with VHF radio sets, while additional repeater stations will be set up for transmission of important updates and messages via wireless transmission, sources said.

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