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MCD polls: Delimitation exercise on track, to be completed by November deadline

The delimitation commission has received ward-wise details of voters, maps of wards and assembly constituencies, and work has begun.

The average size of the ward would be around 65,000 (Representational File Photo)

The delimitation commission formed to carve out 250 wards in Delhi to pave the way for MCD elections is hopeful of finishing the task in four months as it has received most of the data needed to complete the exercise, sources said.

The commission has received ward-wise details of voters, maps of wards and assembly constituencies, and work has begun. “As of now, it is felt that there would not be any need for physical verification as there is complete data of ward boundaries,” said a source, adding that the Directorate of Census Operations and Office of Chief Electoral Officer, Delhi, have provided the latest electoral rolls.

The commission, which is using digitised maps of Geospatial Delhi Limited (GSDL), is hopeful of submitting the draft report on the exercise within the stipulated deadline of November 2022.

The average size of the ward would be around 65,000. Each assembly constituency shall be divided into a minimum of three wards and the principal of average population may not be maintained throughout, therefore a deviation to the extent of plus minus ten percent may be acceptable to the Central Government, said the official order from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

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The order also stated that the total population of the corporation (2011 census) shall be divided by the total number of wards and average population of each ward shall be obtained. The average shall be guiding factor for delimiting the wards in such a manner that each ward so far as practicable has equal population limiting the number of wards not more than 250.

“Boundary ward wards shall be carved out within the boundary of the relevant members of the MLA and shall not cross it,” it added.

The number of seats reserved for members of Scheduled Castes shall bear the same ratio to the total number of seats as the population of Scheduled Castes bears to the total population of Delhi, as per the order.

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The exercise was necessitated after the Central government notified the Delhi Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Act, 2022, which proposed the merger of the three erstwhile corporations and a reduction in the number of councillor seats to “not more than 250 seats” from the existing 272.

The three-member delimitation committee, which was constituted on July 8, is required to complete the exercise and submit its report within four months from the date of its constitution. The committee is led by State Election Commissioner Vijay Dev.

The MCD polls, originally scheduled for April, were put off hours before the election schedule was to be announced. The election was called off as the BJP-led Central government wanted to unify the MCDs and also conduct delimitation to decrease the number of wards.

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The unified MCD formally came into existence on May 22 with IAS officers Ashwani Kumar and Gyanesh Bharti assuming charge as its special officer and commissioner respectively. The erstwhile MCD, established in 1958, was trifurcated in 2012 during Sheila Dikshit’s tenure as the chief minister.

The three erstwhile corporations had 272 wards – 104 each in the North and South corporations and 64 in the East corporation.

First published on: 07-08-2022 at 08:24:49 pm
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