WITH THE Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) set to make the new civic ward boundaries public and hold a reservation lottery for backward categories and women Monday, corporators cutting across party lines are eagerly waiting for the announcement that will decide their fate in the civic polls scheduled for early next year.
According to civic officials, all 227 corporator wards will have a population of 54,000. “So, seven wards will be reduced in the island city. Five wards will be increased in the western suburbs and two in eastern suburbs,” said a senior official.
The official added that the wards for the Scheduled Caste category would increase from 11 to 15 due to rise in population while there would be two wards reserved for the Scheduled Tribe category.
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“In the island city, the wards’ area will be expanded. In the suburbs, the boundaries will be reduced to adjust additional wards. Except a couple of wards, boundaries of all te rest are set to change,” the official said, adding that 50 per cent of the wards will be reserved for women.
In some of the wards, there is hardly any change in population from 2001 and 2011. So, those wards will remain the same, explained the official.
Observers said that political parties would have to re-work their arithmetic for the polls based on the ward boundaries and reservations.
Some of the corporators have stopped work in the their wards reportedly due to lack of clarity about the delimitation of boundaries and the reservations on them, parties admitted.
“It is because they are not sure about their ward boundaries and don’t want to spend huge amounts on it. Once the ward boundaries are declared, they would start working on a war-footing,” said a Congress corporator.
Another corporator said many corporators in Mumbai have also been attempting to reach out to two-three adjoining wards apart from their own, to secure a ward for themselves.
Sources said after the announcement of the ward delimitation and reservations, many corporators and political
leaders may switch parties. Spouses of some corporators have already joined parties to ensure a ticket for the polls.