Bnagalore; It was a back-breaking Saturday for the government staff deployed on election duty.Government officials from all sectors will take over polling booths, with four in-charge officials, a presiding officer (PRO), assistant presiding officer (APRO) and two polling officials (PO). When these officials arrived on duty at their booths, mostly housed in government schools, they were greeted with bare, dirty rooms, without chairs and tables. The toilets were filthy, and a musty smell pervaded most of the rooms,which were locked. Dismayed officials settled down on the floor, eager to complete their work. Besides, they would have to spend Saturday night at the booth.This, despite the fact that the Election Commission had assured them of basic facilities.
Officials have already been working 50 hours straight, without rest or breaks for basic needs such as food and water. Many duty officers complained that work was back-breaking, but did not wish to be named. “It’s better to perform this duty and get done with it,” said an official. At Shivajinagar constituency, most polling booths were situated in government schools such as Obaidulla School, Corporation College and Kamala Bai School. Most of these were locked, till EC officials arrived later in the evening. Booths poorly marked
“Along with these officials, one or two extra micro-observers will be present. They will play the role of watchdog, to ensure that polling is corruption-free,” said Dibakar P, SBI branch manager, VV Puram.
Many of the booths are poorly marked without boards or signs to help voters locate the booths. People living in the area were still unaware of where the booths will be located. The booths will open at 6.30am, and officials are expected to spend the night at the booths, said a duty officer.