Presiding officers complain of lack of proper arrangements for providing food, water
LAHORE: No arrangements had been made by the authorities to provide food or water to polling staff or policemen performing duties during the NA-122 by polls on Sunday.
The major political parties had arranged for ample supply of lunch boxes, soft drinks and drinking water for their supporters at all polling stations. However, policemen and polling staff were left on their own.
Policemen deputed along the Lahore Metro Bus track faced the greatest difficulty as there were no vendors around to buy food or drinks from. As many as 50 constables were assigned to polling station 158 Government ND Islamia High School, Ichhra. When the temperature started rising at around 11am, policemen started helping their colleagues by throwing water bottles from ground level to the elevated metro track. Later, the policemen standing at the metro bus track used a rope to pull up water bottles up from the ground level.
A constable deputed outside the Government ND Islamia High School, Ichhra, told The Express Tribune that they had been on duty since 6am. “Our department did not make any arrangement for providing us food and water. We have to look towards political parties or buy from our own pocket. It is around 2:30pm now, but we have not been given anything,” he said.
Around 3:30pm police mobile canteens started distributing food and juices among the policemen. There was no arrangement by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to provide the polling staff food or water.
Several presiding officers complained of not being given any such facility by the government. Talking to The Express Tribune, one of the presiding officers said they had not been provided food and water. “We have had to make do with whatever we brought with us in the morning,” she said.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 12th, 2015.