Food, water for polling staff

The Election Commission, for the first time, has made arrangements to provide cooked food and drinking water for the polling staff deployed in remote areas where food is not available readily.

Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Anil Kumar Jha on Wednesday said the district election officers in all the 30 districts will arrange for food and drinking water to the polling staff. 

The EC is also trying to ensure that women staffers, who constitute around 50 per cent of the polling staff, need not travel for more than two hours from their homes to the duty stations. 

Out of the 2.95 lakh polling staff, 1.18 lakh are women. “We are trying to ensure that there is minimal inconvenience for them. We have also tried to ensure that very few women will be presiding officers of the polling stations, reducing the burden on women to stay late in the night,” said Jha.

The EC is also roping in bank employees, private schoolteachers and others as micro-observers. The commission has pooled in 18,476 such micro-observers.

The minimum remuneration for the polling staff has been increased to Rs 175 from Rs 100 and the maximum to Rs 350 from Rs 250, depending on their designation.

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