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Ramakanta Biswas

The Odisha government on Monday directed the District Collectors to wrap up the process of delimitation of wards and seat reservation in the municipalities and notified area councils (NACs) in the State by December 13, 2021. The election to 105 municipalities and NACs will be held in early next year. 

As per the provisions of the Odisha Municipality Act, 1950 and the O.M. (D.W.R.S & C.E) Rules, 1994, District Magistrates are empowered for delimitation of wards and reservation of seats for SC, ST, BCC and women in the municipalities and NACs. 

“While dividing a municipal area into wards, equitable distribution of population, as published in 2011 census report, among different wards and compactness of area shall be taken into consideration in accordance with the provision of section 12(3)(b)(i) and (ii) of the Odisha Municipal Act, 1950,” the Housing and Urban Development Department told Collectors. 

“Further, reservation of seats will be made in favour of SC, ST, BCC & Women as per the provisions laid down under section 11 of the O.M. Act. 1950 read with rule 3 of O.M. (D.W.R.S & C.E) Rules 1994,” the department added. 

The District Magistrates have been asked to forward the appeal petitions, if any, received from persons aggrieved by ward delimitation and seat reservation to the State government for hearing of appeal and final decision of the Appellate Authority as per Section 12(3) of the said Act.

As per the dateline, the Collectors will have to carry out delimitation of wards and reservation of seats and issue of draft notification inviting objections and suggestions on the proposed delimitation of wards and reservation of seats by November 9. The last date of receipt of objection and suggestions by the District Magistrates is November 18.

The district magistrate will publish the notification relating to the delimitation of wards and reservation of seats by November 29.
Appeal against the publication of notification can be made before the government in H & U.D. Department as per proviso to Section-12 (3) b of the said Act between November 29 and December 13.

Meanwhile, the Orissa High Court conducted a hearing on a petition filed over the ULB election in the State. The State government submitted its reply in court. The next hearing has been scheduled to January 10, 2022.

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