With a big chunk of municipal employees set to go on poll duty, expect services provided by the civic body to get affected.
According to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), more than 7,500 civic employees will be on poll duty in the run up to polling day — April 24. In addition to this, BMC is set to make available 25 of its vehicles for election work.
"The staff underwent training earlier this week. The staffers have been pulled in from all our 24 ward offices. These men will be booth-level officials during the polls. Besides, we had sent a list of employees from all departments. The EC may ask the respective departments for additional staff from any of the grades. But it seems unlikely," a senior civic official said, wishing not to be named.
When asked about services provided by BMC getting affected, the official said it's a matter of just a few days. He added that it is imperative for the civic body to cooperate with the Election Commission of India ahead of polls given the norms under section 160 of the Representation of People Act, 1952. The section mandates that the government or BMC make available premises for setting up polling stations or storing ballot boxes and providing vehicles for election purpose. "It is a national duty, after all," the official said.
Residents said it was time for them to adjust. "Civic services have been affected for more than a month now. Every time I went to the local ward office for some work, I was told there's a dearth of staffers. So, the services have already been affected. Anyway, it's a matter of a few more days now. The good part is we won't have to hear the reason of there being no staff after the polls," said Rohan Sawant, an Andheri resident.