Says the job of maintaining power supply in four districts is ‘essential’

Citing reasons such as staff shortage, sickness, maternity leave, and deputation Mangalore Electricity Supply Company Limited (Mescom) and the Ports and Inland Water Transport Department have sought exemption from electoral duties for their staff members.

In a letter dated March 22 sent to the District Election Officer and the Deputy Commissioner, Mescom Managing Director S. Sumanth said though the election duty was a “high-priority” job, the job of maintenance of power supply in four districts was “essential”.

He told the election officer that Mescom was short-staffed by 41 per cent and considering this, the personnel should be excused from being deputed for election duty.

Officials in the election office said the letters had been kept pending and approval had not been given. Deputy Commissioner Harsh Gupta, who will take a final call on this proposition, said in cases where office functioning would be severely affected, election duty was exempted. “Departments such as Forest and Wildlife have already been exempted. We will have to take certain factors into consideration, and be as accommodating as possible,” he said.

In a similar letter, dated March 14, the Ports and Inland Water Department has asked nine people, out of 25 officials in the department, to be excused from election duty. Of these, they explain, one is set for retirement next month, another has been transferred to Mangalore City Corporation, one has taken maternity leave, one has been deputed to Mandya, and three others are “too sick or physically challenged to undertake election duty”.

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