Karnataka elections | Staff at checkposts face lack of basic amenities

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A checkpost set up near Shivamogga.

A checkpost set up near Shivamogga.
| Photo Credit: Sathish G.T.

Women government employees, particularly women police officials, posted at checkposts — set up in the run-up to the Assembly elections — have been facing difficulties due to the lack of basic amenities at their stations. While a few have brought their difficulties to the attention of senior officers concerned, others continue to suffer without raising a voice.

The district administrations have set up checkposts at taluk and district entry points. The staff at the check-posts stop vehicles and check if anybody is carrying cash or valuables, violating the model code of conduct. They work in three shifts, covering 24 hours a day.

No toilets

“There are no toilets at our workplace. If the checkposts are close to any village, we could request local people so that we could use the facility at their houses. But our checkpost is far away from human habitation, located on a highway,” said a woman employee who wished not to be named.

The local gram panchayats make drinking water available for the staff. The staff members take a break for a few minutes to have food. “If one goes for breakfast, the rest manage the checkpost. And, in some places, the staff have to travel a long distance to find a hotel. We don’t bring these things to the attention of senior officers and manage ourselves. But, the administration should make arrangements for toilets,” the official said.

Demand not met

The staff, through their immediate seniors and assistant returning officers, have appealed to the administration to arrange mobile toilets at each checkpost. “Whenever political parties hold huge rallies, organisers make mobile toilets available for the public. If political parties could make such arrangements at events that last for a few hours, why cannot the Election Commission make similar arrangements for their staff members at the checkposts, which remain active 24 hours until the polling day,” argued a female employee.

When The Hindu brought this issue to the attention of Hassan Deputy Commissioner M.S. Archana, the officer said the administration would check the availability of mobile toilets and take further action to carry them to the checkposts.

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