The upcoming municipal elections will be held on 272 wards, however, the seats could be redistributed among the three civic bodies going to polls next year.
Delhi State Election Commission officials said the number of municipal wards in the national capital would continue to be 272, even as the geographical boundaries of each ward will witness dramatic changes.
Sources said the delimitation process would lead to a major shift in certain assembly constituencies, which will now have up to seven wards. Currently, each constituency has four wards.
“The total number of wards in the city will remain the same. However, due to migration, the number of wards under each assembly constituency will change. It will now range from three to seven,” said Rakesh Mehta, Delhi State Election commissioner.
Sources in the polling body said the change in wards was due to alteration in ward-wise population. The areas most likely to be affected are the Walled City, east and west Delhi.
“The delimitation process is based on 2011 census. Going by the data, while a lot of people have migrated from Old Delhi, the population in the east and west Delhi has risen exponentially. Therefore, these constituencies will be the most affected,” said a high-ranking official.
He further said each ward would now have 60,000 people with an estimated 40,000 voters.
Municipal elections will be held in Delhi in April 2017, which will be the first real contest among all political parties since the 2015 assembly elections. Currently, all three municipal corporations are governed by the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Sources said of the total 70 assembly constituencies, at least 40 are likely to be affected significantly. Eighteen constituencies are likely to comprise of five to seven wards and in at least 19, wards per constituency will go down to three.
In all, 272 municipal wards fall under the jurisdiction of 68 assembly seats, with four municipal wards in each of the 68 assembly seats. While both South and North Delhi Municipal Corporations have 104 wards each under their jurisdiction, the East Delhi Corporation has 64 wards.
Meanwhile, the geographical boundaries of all municipal wards are also going to change. Officials said wards would now be in sync with assembly constituency through geo-characteristics to avoid overlapping of wards in two or three assembly constituencies.
“The boundaries will be based on well defined geo-characteristics like arterial roads, canals, drains to ensure that colonies and areas are not split mindlessly,” said a top official.
Mehta said that while the process of delimitation was ‘almost complete’, the official documents would be in the public domain for suggestions from mid -july to August-end. “Once we get the feedback, we will send the document to the Delhi government for notification,” said Mehta.