Of the 96 lakh registered voters in Mumbai,11.9 lakh names have been struck off by the offices of the city and suburban collectors,a year-and-a-half after the drive to remove redundant entries was undertaken. Apart from cancelling duplicate and incorrect registrations,the drive focused on removing names of those who have moved homes within or out of the city,are dead or are missing.
While 6.96 lakh of 74.96 names were deleted from suburban electoral rolls,in the island city,4.94 lakh of 27.5 lakh names were removed. The list of deleted names will be published on the websites of both the collector offices and will be available with the local returning officer from September 16 for a month,during which suggestions and objections will be invited.
Politicians have been opposing the deletion of names. However,the collectors are going to provide CDs with names deleted booth-wise along with the reason,for them to verify.
The drive was undertaken in March last year soon after the civic polls,when it came to light that the number of voters in the electoral rolls was 15 per cent more than the number of residents of Mumbai above 18. BJP leader Ram Naik claimed that electoral rolls were at least 20 per cent inflated. When the exercise was started,there were 112 registered voters for every 100 eligible voters. Generally,in metropolises,the eligible voter population is 65-75 per cent of the total.
Suburban collector Sanjay Deshmukh said door-to-door verification of voters was conducted in the 26 assembly constituencies of suburban Mumbai. At that time,8.5 lakh voters were not residing at the address mentioned on the roll. Over the years,there have been several changes and many names became redundant. We received considerable manpower from the BMC for the exercise. From early 2012 to July 31,we deleted 6.96 lakh names, said Deshmukh.
Constituencies with the highest number of redundant names were Magathane,Andheri (West),Dahisar and Borivali.
Officer said a considerable population relocates due to housing and job related issues and often,people do not update their data. The percentage of deletions is higher in the island city,indicating that more people are shifting to suburbs. What is worrying is we have observed increasing slum population in the suburbs, said an official.