LAHORE - The two major parties, PML-N and PTI, are chalking out plans for the Lahore by-election to transport the voters to polling stations on October 11.

Sources in both PML-N and PTI say transportation plan at the party level has yet to be finalised as their respective candidates and the leadership are too busy with electioneering. Both the sides say their primary concern at the moment is the final push to reach out to the voters through corner meetings, processions and door-to-door contacts in the constituency. Both the sources, however, said they had formed committees to assess how much transport was needed for 283 polling stations to be set up in schools and public buildings in different localities of the constituency. The polling stations would be set up by and large at the same sites which had served this purpose in the past elections.

Both the sides claimed their respective voters would mostly reach the polling station on their own and transport would be provided where indispensible. But this statement sounds somewhat unrealistic. After spending massively on the campaign, no candidate would like to lose the votes only for the reason they did not have the means to reach the polling station. Moreover, it is a cliché about the D-day that the more vigorously a candidate works to take voters to polling stations, the more vantage he secures in final count. And the amount of the hype created in the current election would make this need more prominent.

The delimitation of the NA-122 constituency is the same as it was in the May 11, 2013 general polls, but the number of voters, under the revised and updated lists, has increased. The constituency consists of posh, middle class and lower middle class areas for which different types of transport would be needed to give pick and drop to voters. There are narrow and moderately wide streets in the areas like Ichhra, Samnadad, Basti Saiden Shah, Dharampura and Ghari Shahu and open localities like Upper Mall, The Mall and Dr Majid Nizami Raod where well-off voters can afford to reach the polling stations through their own vehicles. However, this case may not be everywhere, so the candidates would need to provide transport facility to voters, which is not permissible under the election rules.

Some independent sources say PTI fears the ruling party will certainly use public transport or capture private transport through police and the administration.

On the other hand, PTI candidate Aleem Khan, realising the importance of bringing voters to polling stations and sending them back, can also hire transport to supplement the large caravan already held by him and his party. Therefore, from motorcycle rickshaws and cars to loaders, vans, jeeps and small-sized trucks all are expected to be plied for transportation of voters.

Sources say both the sides are expected to form teams to separately carry male and female voters. They further say voters have already been told about availability of transport.

The PPP has also fielded its candidate and the party camp says they have committed voters who would come to vote even on foot. Nevertheless, PPP candidate Barrister Amir Hassan has also made some arrangements to provide transport on call.