In the soon-to-be-announced delimitation exercise for the civic body ahead of the polls in February, the western suburbs will see an increase in the existing wards from 97 to 102 and the eastern suburbs are likely to see an increase from the current 67 to 69, even as electoral wards in the island city come down from 63 to 56.
With the city’s population moving towards the north of the city, areas such as Kandivli (R-south) and Malad (P north) are likely to see an addition of two electoral wards each to their existing 11 and 16 wards, respectively. In the eastern suburbs, Deonar and Govandi (M east) are likely to get two more wards.
While seven electoral wards have been reduced from the island city, three have been reduced from the suburbs. Areas such as H-East (Santacruz-Bandra east), N ward (Ghatkopar) and M-West (Chembur) will have one corporator less. A few other areas such as Kurla, Dahisar, Goregaon and Bhandup will have one additional electoral ward each.
With the electoral map of the city being redrawn on the basis of the 2011 population census, the focus has further shifted in favour of the suburbs, said civic officials. This means the suburbs could get more funds and have a say in civic affairs. While there is no increase in the total electoral wards from the present 227, a shuffle of about 10 electoral wards has been proposed to the four-member committee appointed by the state election commission, said sources. However, the draft ward formation is expected to be officially declared only after October 3, said civic officials.
Civic sources said there will be an increase in the percentage of SC/ST reservation. The civic body has limited the population for each electoral ward in the range of 50,000 to 55,000 . Civic sources said there will also be a major reshuffle in the reservation of seats for SC/ST and women. This will see political parties scurrying in search for candidates.
One of the officials involved in the process said, “The changes have been submitted to the committee. The committee will officially announce the changes to electoral wards and also declare the reservations by the first week of October.”
Further, of the 24 administrative wards managing various electoral wards, only six administrative wards have remained unchanged and will retain the same number of corporators as 2012 civic elections.