Patiala: With assembly polls in Punjab coming to an end on February 4, the cooks who fed polling staff are finding it difficult to feed themselves and their family members.
‘Cooks were informed to take the payment from staff at the time of serving them meal or refreshment.’
The meals served at polling booth to staff and security guards without charging any bill forefront have left the cooks in catch 22 situation. With politicians, election staff and security guards nowhere to be found, the cooks are running from pillar to post to get their dues cleared.
It is pertinent to mention that for the first time in the state’s history, the Election Commission of Indian decided to provide meals to polling staff and guards for which they earmarked a sum of Rs 300 per person.
The step was taken to curb traditional corrupt practice of providing meals to staff by respective politicians and their supporters.
Following the Election Commission’s directions State Election Commission instructed Education Department to ask cooks who make mid day meals for children in school to provide meals to staff.
The School in-charges instructed the cooking staff for the same and even ordered them to be present in the school for two days i.e. February 3 and February 4 to prepare meals and refreshments for Polling Staff.
The polling staff left the venues without clearing their bills thus leaving cooks in a fix. While following the dictates of the school in-charges managed the show and come forward with an excellent performance in preparing the food items but in last fail to get their money back as none from the Polling Parties paid them off their bills.
The cooks only get a sum of Rs 1200 per month for preparing mid day meals for kids in schools.
District Election Officer (DEO) cum Deputy Commissioner, Ramveer Singh admitted that he has received some complaints regarding the issue and he has asked ADC, Sandeep Rishi to look into the matter and help the cooks.
DEO even clarified that cooks were informed to take the payment from staff right at the time of serving them meal or refreshment. On the other hand ADC, Sandeep Rishi stated that he has asked District Education Officer (DEO-Elementary) to submit a comprehensive report about the same and also urged the cooks to contact him in his office in this connection.
For more news updates Follow and Like us on Facebook