Staff Reporter

A total of 407 complaints have been received from the district

Officials will verify if the details given by secretaries of local bodies are accurate.

KOCHI: District Collector M. Beena has appointed 22 officials from various departments to inquire into the complaints related to the bifurcation of wards in the local self-government bodies in the district. The officials have been directed to submit their reports to the Collector by January 23.

Meanwhile a three-member team led by Fort Kochi Sub Inspector Ajit Patil will look into the large number of complaints received from within the Kochi Corporation limits. The team has been asked to submit a report to the Collector by January 25.

Presiding over a meeting held at the district collectorate here on Wednesday, Ms. Beena said that a total of 407 complaints have been received from across the district regarding ward bifurcation. Out of this, 77 complaints were received from within the city limits, while 36 complaints were from various municipality limits. Panchayats alone accounted for 294 complaints. Not a single complaint had been received from 12 panchayats in the district. In terms of most number of complaints, panchayats under the Angamaly block topped the list. Least number of complaints was received from panchayats under the Vytilla block. The officials appointed to look into the complaints have been asked to verify whether the details furnished by secretaries of local self-government bodies on the draft of ward bifurcation are accurate.

They have also been directed to ensure whether the guidelines issued by the Election Commission on various parameters like the population limit within the bifurcated ward had been adhered to.

The draft on ward bifurcation limits the maximum number of wards within a panchayat to 23 while each panchayat would have a minimum of 13 wards. As per this stipulation, Vengola, Elamkunnapuzha, and Pallipuram panchayats would have 23 wards. In the 19 panchayats, the number of wards would be limited to the minimum of 13. The rest of the panchayats in the district would have 13 to 23 wards.

The bifurcation would be carried out on the basis of the 2001 census. The average population in each ward would be reached at by dividing the total population in a panchayat by the number of wards. A deviation of 10 per cent was permissible in this calculation. Fifty per cent of the wards would be reserved for women.