Govt orders fresh delimitation, voter revision for ULB polls

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Sept 12: The Government has ordered fresh delimitation of Wards and revision of electoral rolls in all Municipal Corporations, Councils and Committees across the State. Deputy Commissioners of all 22 districts have been assigned the task of delimitation of Wards, which would be followed by revision of electoral rolls by the Election Department.
Official sources confirmed to the Excelsior that the Housing and Urban Development Department of the Government has formally directed the authorities to hold delimitation of Wards and revision of electoral rolls of all Urban Local Bodies (ULBs), which were mandatory exercise before holding elections to the Municipalities.
“We have issued the order for holding delimitation of Wards of all Municipalities to set the stage for holding elections to the Municipalities after about three years”, sources said, adding that the exercise was likely to begin in the next few days.
Under the exercise, the Deputy Commissioners of all 22 districts of the State would notify the Wards of Municipal Corporations, Council and Committees, which existed in their districts, and then invited objections for inclusion or exclusion of localities in the Wards.
After claims and objections were settled, the Wards would be notified for the elections.
The entire exercise, though scheduled to be completed in 21 days, could take a little extra time especially in Jammu and Srinagar, which have a Municipal Corporation each.
The delimitation of Wards would be followed by revision of electoral rolls, an exercise that is to be undertaken by the Election Department.
The revision of electoral rolls would be specifically confined to the areas falling under ULBs and would be in addition to major exercise of summary revision undertaken by the Election Commission, which would start on October 1.
In the last ULB elections held in January-February, 2005, there were 14 lakh voters. However, with elections now being held after eight years (most likely in December 2012) and addition of some more Municipalities, number of the voters was significantly expected to go up.
“We would like all eligible voters to exercise their right to franchise in the ULB elections, which would be held after nearly three years during which a number of teenagers would have become adults attaining the age of 18 to cast votes”, sources said.
All ULBs had completed their five years tenure in March 2010. The elections to them were due in January-February 2010 but the Government delayed them on one pretext or the other despite repeated announcements.
The ULB elections in 2005 were held after a gap of 26 years.
Few days back, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had announced holding of elections to Municipalities and Block Development Councils (BDCs) by December this year.
He had asked Housing and Urban Development Department and Rural Development Department to take necessary measures for holding the elections to ULBs and BDCs respectively. The polls for the BDCs were to be held for the first time in the State.


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