The normal functioning of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) zonal and ward offices has taken a beating as several officials have been put on election duty in the last one week.
Most people visiting BBMP offices are greeted by closed doors or a standard statement - “Sir is on election duty, come next week.” Some basic, yet important services like property tax collection, issue of birth and death certificates, khata certificates and plan sanctions are delayed. The BBMP top brass too expressed their helplessness and state that it is only temporary.
Absence of officials has also affected voting. Many first time voters or those with voters identity cards are visiting the nearest BBMP office to collect their voting slip in advance or corrected voters card. This helps reduce the time they spend in searching for their name in the various booth lists and also ensure that their name is there in the voters list. But they are deterred as the BBMP offices are closed. Even if one officer is on duty, the staff in the office close doors under the pretext of election duty.
“I went to the BBMP office to collect voting slips and my corrected voters ID cards, twice. The first time I was told that the official was on election duty. The second time, the office was closed. It does not seem like my family and I will be able vote this time,” said Meena Gowda, a resident of Nagarbhavi. Same is the case in other areas. Dhananjay, a resident of Horamavu said: “We are new to this area. We want to know where we have to vote from, but there is no one in the office to guide us.” Shivaram, a resident of Sanjay Nagar, wondered how all officials from a government office could be on election duty and how the office can be closed for a week. “Does this mean that no other work will happen till the elections are over?” he asked. He has been struggling to get his property registered for bank work.