BLOs yet to receive a year’s honorarium

Booth-level officers (BLOs), who are the backbone of the voter enumeration process, have not received honorarium for the last one year, for their work in 15 constituencies in Hyderabad district.

While GHMC Commissioner M. Dana Kishore has been issuing warnings to the truant BLOs of sever action under the Representation of The People Act, it’s a fact that the corporation owes them close to ₹2.5 crore by way of honorarium. Recently, a Sanitation Field Assistant (SFA), who was a BLO at a polling station at Banjara Hills, was suspended for being absent for the assigned duties. Also, instructions have been issued to slap a case against him under the Act.

The city has a total of 3,826 BLOs, as per the increased number of polling booths. According to the guidelines, teachers, electricity metre readers, Anganwadi workers, health workers (ASHA workers), Sanitation Field Assistants, Entomology Field Assistants, and Entomology Field Workers may be appointed as the BLOs. Honorarium payable to each of them has been fixed as ₹6,000 per year.

“For the year 2016-17, we paid honorarium amounting to ₹1.23 crore, but have not been reimbursed by the Election Commission for two quarters, which amounted to ₹69 lakh,” said an official from the GHMC.

For 2017-18, the BLOs were yet to receive the honorarium even from the corporation.

ASHA workers, who are among the BLOs, are citing Kanti Velugu camps as the reason for their inability to attend polling duties, and a letter has been addressed to the Medical & Health Department asking them to relieve the workers from duties, the official said.

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Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 2:02:32 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/blos-yet-to-receive-a-years-honorarium/article24957780.ece

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