The exact number of councillor seats to be carved out in the delimitation exercise in the national capital has been fixed at 250, sources familiar with the development told The Hindu on Monday.
The sources said the decision was received through an order dated July 22 from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
“Based on this order, we will take data from the 2011 Census, which is authentic as on date, and Geospatial Delhi Limited data is also being considered. The digitised maps used in the previous delimitation exercise in 2016 are also valid and will be relied upon,” said a source.
The source added that while the reduction in seats is not huge in number [from 272 to 250], the exercise will have to be conducted to ensure that population of “all wards is equal”. “Let’s see how the committee decides further on this,” the source.
The need for the delimitation exercise arose after the Central government notified the Delhi Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Act, 2022, which proposed the merger of the three erstwhile municipal corporations and a reduction in the number of councillor seats to “not more than 250 seats” from the existing 272.
Order much awaited
The order on the exact number of wards comes two weeks after the MHA constituted a three-member committee to conduct the delimitation exercise in the Capital. The source added that the MHA’s latest order was much awaited for the work to commence.
The 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 three-member committee is led by State Election Commissioner Vijay Dev.
“Employees under the Municipal Corporation of Delhi and the SEC have already been roped in for the exercise. The statutory period of the exercise to be completed, which is four months, has to be taken into consideration,” said the source, adding that meetings will be held soon.
According to the Centre, the formation of the committee is a step in the direction of conducting the civic polls in the Capital, which were previously slated to be held in April.