Sans facilities, polling staff forced to spend night under open sky in Balasore

Balasore: As many as 50 polling staff from Khudra had a harrowing time as no arrangements were allegedly made for their stay in Balasore on Thursday. As a result, the poll officials were forced to spend the night under the open sky. The poll officials from Khurda have been deployed for the conduct of fourth phase polls in Balasore to be held on April 29.

Though the Balasore district administration had made arrangements for the stay of poll officials at a residential school, they faced problems as the rooms were locked which sparked resentment. Most of them spent the night inside a bus while others were seen taking shelter on verandah and other places inside the residential school.

On getting information, OTV team reached the spot and tried to contact the Balasore Collector over such irregularities. However, neither the Collector nor Sub-collector could be contacted despite repeated attempts.

Balasore SP B. Jugal Kishore on the other hand stated that is the responsibility of the Collector to resolve such issues.

“No arrangement was made for our stay. As the school rooms are locked, we faced much inconvenience. When we contacted the senior official, they asked us to ask the school authorities. Though now a person has been sent by the school authorities, he could not open the locks,” said Kailash Chandra Mallick, a polling staff.

Expressing similar views, another polling staff said, “We reached here at 10 AM but there was no provision for drinking water and toilets. Apart from this, no money has been given to us to meet our daily expenses.”

“As no rooms were allotted to us, we slept in the vehicle last night. The administration is yet to reach and resolve such issues,” said another staff from Khurda.