A total of 1,720 suggestions and objections were received in connection to the draft delimitation report till Monday, the deadline for feedback, said officials familiar with the development.
The majority of the feedback came from political parties, resident welfare associations (RWA) and individuals, who mainly highlighted anomalies in the total population per ward and changes in ward boundaries.
The officials said “none of the objections” raised till Friday highlighted any grave issues in the draft report.
The delimitation of municipal wards in the Capital has been carried out based on figures from the 2011 Census. The three-member delimitation committee, which was constituted on July 8, is chaired by Vijay Dev, the State Election Commissioner.
“It seems that people have raised objections based on the previous composition of wards, when their total number was 272. Now the number has been reduced to 250. The so-called mismatch in population is something that was present even in the previous years,” said an official, adding that the final report will be sent to the Centre by October 18.
The official said objections have been raised to the population of wards such as Mayur Vihar Phase-I, which has over 93,000 people while the likes of Chandni Chowk is above 35,000, adding that it exceeds the average population per ward — between 50,000 to 70,000.
Physical verification exercise
“The population per ward was not the only factor taken into consideration during this exercise; we also looked at geographical features and contiguity of areas along with many other factors. However, we are still examining the objections to see whether there are any grave errors. Meanwhile, a physical verification exercise to check the possible errors in connection to ward boundaries and polling stations is nearing completion,” said the official.
According to the Ministry of Home Affairs order, dated July 22, on the principle and guidance for the delimitation exercise, the average population may not be maintained throughout and a deviation of plus or minus 10% of the area’s average population may be acceptable. The likes of AAP, BJP and Congress have objected to the “mismatch” in the population per ward.
“AAP and BJP have raised objections to the draft report but have asserted that the civic polls should be held soon. However, we have a hunch that the Congress might challenge the final report in court if its objections are not incorporated,” said another official.
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”. The State Election Commission published the draft report on September 12, providing three weeks (till October 3) for public suggestions and objections.