A high 30 per cent absenteeism among the 18,000-odd presiding officers and first polling officers enlisted to undergo training on Wednesday for conducting the upcoming BBMP elections, has left the civic administration in a quandary.
Palike officials are worried that similar poor attendance may recur on polling day.
The BBMP has decided to issue public notices in newspapers and on television channels directing the absentee officers to compulsorily attend the next training session on August 16 or face the music.
The large scale absenteeism caused such consternation that BBMP Commissioner Kumar Naik hurriedly convened a press meet to issue a warning to the absentee officers to attend the next training capsule. He said, out of 9,343 presiding officers, 2,801 were absent and of the 9,257 first polling officers, 2449 did not turn up.
“The absenteeism of presiding officers and first polling officers is 30 per cent and 26 per cent respectively, which is uncommon,” said Naik. A 10 to 15 per cent absenteeism was normal and additional work force was kept as a standby. But a 30 per cent shortage cannot be met at this point in time, the commissioner said.
Naik said, at Oxford College, out of 345 officers only 110 were present and at National College, only 96 out of 373 officers were present. At ITI, 114 out of 345 turned up.
Naik said action would be initiated against the officers under the People's Representation Act and the Karnataka Civil Services Rules, which will ruin their career and block future promotions if they fail to turn up at least for the second leg of training.
Naik said communication gap or complacence borne out of previous training could be the cause. He said the BBMP has roped in 35,000 personnel to conduct the civic polls and the role of presiding officers and first polling officers was critical.
DH News Service