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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: The Housing and Urban Development (H&UD) department on Tuesday instructed all the District Magistrates and Collectors to complete delimitation of wards and reservation of seats by April 30, 2018 for the general elections to the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs).

While the term of 65 ULBs will expire on September 30, 2018, the term of 20 ULBs will expire on December 4, 2018. While Phulbani Municipality and G Udayagiri NAC will complete their term on December 9, 2018, the term of Baripada Municipality will expire on February 13, 2019.

Similarly, the term of Bolangir Municipality and Titlagarh Municipality will expire on July 11, 2019.

As per section 12 of Odisha Municipal Act 1950 read with Odisha Municipal (Delimitation of Wards, Reservation of Seats and Conduct of Election) Rules, 1994, the election to the above ULBs should be conducted before the expiry of the terms, a letter from the Municipal Administration director to all district collectors stated.

Therefore, the State Election Commission has asked the State Government to divide the Municipal Areas into wards and to reserve seats for Schedule Caste (SC), Schedule Tribe (ST), Backward Classes (BC) communities and women.

The State Government has empowered the District Magistrates for delimitation of wards and reservation of seats in the ULBs after inviting objections and suggestions. The petitions received from aggrieved persons should be forwarded to the State Government following which an Appellate Authority will take the final decision.

The District Magistrates are instructed to issue draft notification inviting objections and suggestions on the delimitation of wards and reservation of seats on February 15, 2018. The last date of receipt of objections and suggestions by the District Magistrates is February 24, 2018.

The notification regarding the delimitation of wards and reservation of seats will be published by the District Magistrates on March 8, 2018.

While appeal against the publication will be received by the H&UD department from March 9 to March 23, 2018, the hearing will be held from March 26 to April 25, 2018.

The District Magistrates will be intimated about the decision of the Appellate Authority by April 28, 2018 and they shall issue the final notification after making necessary changes on April 30, 2018. The District Magistrates also have to forward the copy of the notification to the State Election Commission, H&UD department and concerned ULBs, the letter added.

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