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Panchayat polls likely to be postponed

Margao: The panchayat elections which were earlier said to be held in May 2017 are likely to be postponed to a later date and rumours are that they will be held only after by-elections to the Legislative Assembly are held.
One of the reasons for this rumour is the quantum of work still to be completed for holding the panchayat polls foremost of which is the delimitation of wards in the panchayats, specially following the circular issued by the Director of Panchayats on March 30.
The circular invokes the provision of the Goa Panchayat Raj Act dealing with constitution of panchayats and has specified certain village panchayats where the number of wards has to be increased.
In Salcete, three panchayats will have to elect more panchayat members this time. While Sarzora and Orlim which had five panchas earlier will now elect 7 panchas each as the population in those two villages is more than 2000 but less than 5000.
Varca panchayat that had seven panchas will now have to elect 9 member panchayat as its population is more than 5000 but less than 8000.
The authorities have the arduous task of marking the additional wards and demarcating them ensuring that the average population in all wards is more or less the same and there are no serious differences in the number of voters in each ward.
Besides, the delimitation of other panchayats has also to be done showing contiguity of boundaries, ward wise population (SC, ST, OBC), ward wise number of voters and details of households and panchayat secretaries are entrusted with this job.
The secretaries are agitated over this added responsibility and were heard protesting against it with the BDOs yesterday when they had come to submit the exercise carried out by them to mark out the different wards in their villages. [H]

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