The process of delimitation of municipal wards in the capital, currently being done by the State Election Commission (SEC), has been put on hold due to the upcoming bypolls in 13 municipal wards. The bypolls are scheduled for May 15, the same time when public consultations concerning the redrawing of municipal boundaries were scheduled to take place.
Ahead of the general elections to the three municipal corporations next year, the SEC has been tasked with redefining the boundaries of municipal wards based on average population of the last census in 2011. Different wards in the three corporations will be delimited on the basis of the average population of approximately 60,000 people per ward.
Given this, sources said the number of newly-delimited wards may be reduced from four (the number at present) to three, or increased from five to seven as the case may be. However, to keep each ward “geographically compact”, the boundary of the wards will be kept within the limits of the constituency.
The total number of seats of councillors and the number of reserved seats (SC, women) in each corporation will also be decided by the SEC. At present, the north has 104 seats (BJP – 65; Congress – 35), south has 104 (BJP – 52; Congress – 38) and east has 64 seats (BJP – 33; Congress – 20), in their respective corporations.
The commission is in the process of preparing maps for all the wards and is likely to bring them out in the first week of June.
State Election Commissioner Rakesh Mehta told The Indian Express, “SEC had planned public interactions with Resident Welfare Associations and representatives of the area, including councillors, MPs and MLAs, to get their opinion on the mapping. That was scheduled for the first week of May, but it will now get pushed to first week of June.”
Mehta added that the detailing of the maps and digitisation of the data of all 272 wards will take longer. Public consultation would comprise publicising the draft delimitation order for the information of the general public and inviting objections to it within a month’s time “to consider and dispose of all suggestions and objections so received. Therefore, owing to the elections, the timeline of delimitation will get pushed by a month to accommodate this process, he added.
The final draft for delimitation will be submitted to the Delhi government by the commission, which will seek the Lieutenant Governor’s approval to make the order effective.
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