Staff Reporter

COIMBATORE: The district administration has so far re-organised 24 panchayats so that each ward has only a representative, Collector P. Umanath said here on Friday.

A release, quoting his speech at a meeting organised for the purpose at the Collectorate, said the aim of the exercise was only to ensure that wards were formed in an equitable fashion.

The reorganisation led to optimum use of resources, solved all existing problems and ensured that no challenges arose thereafter. It was being carried out based on the 2001 Census and voters' list that was revised in 2009.

The Collector, however, assured the panchayat presidents, members and other participants that the new system would be implemented only during the next local body elections, due in 2011.

The district administration organised the meeting with panchayat presidents, block development officers, assistant block development officers and panchayat assistants to brief them about the reorganisation plan.

The presence of more than one representative for a ward created doubt as to which project to be implemented where and there were major discrepancies in the area of and population in wards within a panchayat.

Local body representatives made a representation to the Deputy Chief Minister M.K. Stalin, who is also the Local Administration Minister, and following a study the Government had decided to have a representative for a ward.

The aim, as mentioned earlier, was to ensure equal distribution of population across wards.

The Collector also told the participants that there would be no change in the number of representatives to be elected, as the present rule of population-based representation would be adopted.

Panchayats with population between 500 and 2,000 would have six representatives, those between 2,000 and 6,000 would have nine, local bodies between 6,000 and 10,000 shall have 12 and those above 10,000 15.

The new system would follow the same rule, he reiterated.