Call to delay civic polls

Political parties and an NGO want the Adityapur civic polls to be postponed till the report of census 2011, which will give the people's count, is released.

Election to Adityapur Municipal Council (AMC) ' the civic body that looks after the industrial hub of Adityapur and Gamharia in adjoining Seraikela Kharsawan district ' is held every five years. The last polls were held in 2008 on the basis of the 2001 census report. The next election is scheduled this March.

Jan Kalyan Morcha, the NGO that has raised objections, held a meeting on Tuesday, where its members decided to send a petition to the state election commission, urging it to postpone the polls till the 2011 census report for Adityapur is published.

"Civic polls are held on the basis of population of any township or city. The number of wards is determined on the basis of the existing population and accordingly, development plans are made. But when the report of the 2011 census is yet to be published, how can we prepare for the 2013 election?" asked NGO Jan Kalyan Morcha's president Om Prakash.

According to Om Prakash, the 1991 census report had put the population of Adityapur at 80,362. Adityapur Notified Area Committee was the civic guardian then. In the 2001 census report, the crowd count jumped to 1,19,235 ' a sharp rise of over 38,000.

Om Prakash's argument is that given the jump in figures between 1991 and 2001, the population of Adityapur must have crossed the 1.5-lakh mark by now. "In case Adityapur's population crosses 1.5 lakh, then a municipal corporation can be set up in place of a municipal council. A township with a population of 1.5 lakh is entitled to get a municipal corporation," he explained.

Even if the council's status is not upgraded, the number of wards may go up from the existing 32 to 35, he added.

Debu Chatterjee, president of Adityapur block Congress committee, agreed. "There are chances of Adityapur being declared a municipal corporation. I demand that the next civic polls be postponed and the 2011 census report published at the earliest," Chatterjee said.

Local BJP member Sunil Srivastava added that if the AMC elections were held before publishing of the census report, injustice would be meted out to the people of Adityapur.

However, sources said the process of fresh elections had begun and a notification was likely to be issued soon.

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