HYDERABAD: Over 1,000 staff, involved in the marathon counting of votes for the Hyderabad-Rangareddy-Mahbubnagar (HRM) Graduates constituency, have been burning the midnight oil for the last three days. They have been working in three shifts amid strict COVID-19 guidelines from March 17, when the exercise began at the Saroornagar Indoor Stadium in LB Nagar.
Fifty-six tables are being used for the counting and each has a supervisor, two assistants and a micro-observer. On day one, only 1,000 votes were counted at each table. However, from the second day onwards, two more staff were deployed to speed up the cumbersome process which involves unfolding every ballot paper, showing it to the agents of political parties and folding it back.
The GHMC has made sure to look after the staff by providing them with drinking water, tea, snacks, breakfast, lunch and dinner. It has also kept emergency medical teams on standby. Besides, around 4,000 police personnel have been guarding the venue in three shifts.