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State Asks For Urban Seat Reserve

Bhubaneswar: With the amendment of Municipal Laws removing reservation for OBC people, the State Government has asked District Collectors to initiate the process again for delimitation of wards and reservation of seats in the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) for the upcoming poll.

Director of Municipal Administration (DMA) Sangarmjit Nayak has recently written a letter to all the District Collectors, in this regard.

In the letter, DMA, Mr.Nayak informed that consequent upon the Judgement of the Supreme Court regarding reservation of seats for BCC category, the State Government has amended relevant provisions of the Odisha Municipal Act, 1950 by way of ordinance.

The Government has decided that the delimitation of wards & reservation of seats for the general election to 107 Municipalities and NACs (except Municipalities/ NACs located in Scheduled Areas) of the State will be made afresh, he said.

Hence, all the earlier communications related to reservation of seats hereby superseded in respect of the Municipalities & NACs other than those located in the scheduled areas.

Accordingly, as a part of the action plan, it is necessary to divide the areas within the Municipalities & NACs situated outside the scheduled areas into wards and to reserve seats for SC, ST and women, the DMA said.

“While dividing a municipal area into wards, equitable distribution of population, as published in the 2011 Census report, among different wards and compactness of area shall be taken into consideration in accordance with the provision of the Odisha Municipal Act, 1950,” he informed the Collectors.

Further, reservation of seats will be made in favour of SC, ST and women as per the provisions laid down under section 11 of the OM Act, 1950.

As per the provisions of the Act, the District Magistrates are empowered for delimitation of wards and reservation of seats for SC, ST and women in the Municipalities/ NACs.

The process followed so far related to the Municipalities & NACs located in the scheduled areas shall remain valid.

As per the letter, the appeal petition from the persons aggrieved with the Notification of the District Magistrate regarding division of Municipal Area into wards or assignment of wards will be received only in the office of the District Magistrate concerned to be deposited in a box, kept in the office of the DM for this purpose, before the stipulated date and time.

Then the District Magistrates will forward the received appeal petitions along with their comment on each appeal through special messenger to reach the office of the Director, Municipal Administration before January 27, 2022 for hearing of appeal and final decision of appellate authority.

The Collectors have been asked to complete the delimitation process by today (January 3) while the persons having any issue with the process, can submit his/her plea by January 12. The District Magistrates will publish the reservation of seats list on January 13.

Those who are still not satisfied with the reservation notification of the DM, can submit their grievances to the Housing and Urban Development Department between January 13 and 27. Hearing of the grievance applications will start from January 28, Mr.Nayak said in the letter. However, no final date has been set for completion of the entire procedure.