India returns to recruiting runners to ferry messages during local election after monsoon cuts off phone lines
India has recruited 15 runners to ferry messages as far as 27 miles in remote mountainous areas after heavy monsoon rains cut telecommunications.
State officials said the runners would be required to jog in relays in hilly terrain to provide a communication link between the Ranikor and South Tura assembly constituencies in northeastern Meghalaya state and the closest Commission office in the run up to and during voting on August 23.
Both constituencies have no roads, just narrow tracks and pathways connecting them to the rest of the state, and mobile telephone connectivity, especially during the ongoing monsoon rains, is mostly non-existent.
Nearly 540 people have died across India due to the monsoon showers that began in June and floods they triggered; this included some 40 fatalities in the northeastern region including Meghalaya and neighbouring Assam state.
In response, the Electoral Commission, responsible for overseeing all Indian elections, has hired the local âable bodied menâ with proven athletic prowess to keep it informed about the voting.
Chief area electoral officer Fredrick Roy Kharkongor said Ranikor assembly constituency had five polling booths, of which the furthest was 27 miles away from the nearest road.Source: Google News India | Netizen 24 India