HC remains at shrinking wards in Puri Municipality – The New Indian Express

By Express press service

CUTTACK: A notification issued by the Collector of Puri reducing the number of wards under Puri Municipality from 38 to 32 ahead of the city polls has come under scrutiny by the Orissa High Court.

A single-judge bench of Judge Biswanath Rath on Wednesday issued notices to the Puri Collector and the Director of Municipal Administration to file their responses to a motion, filed by Bibhuti Bhusan Sethi and four other former Councilors of the Municipality of Puri contesting the notification.

In an interim order, Judge Rath ordered that the Puri administration not proceed with the notification reducing the number of wards from 38 to 32 until further notice. Judge Rath has set March 22 to hear the case as well as responses to the notices.

According to the petition, in 2018, the number of wards under Puri Municipality increased from 32 to 38 by bifurcation of some wards. A notification to this effect was issued by Puri Collector after the state government approved a resolution passed by the Puri City Council to increase the number of wards from 32 to 38.

The increase in the number of neighborhoods to 38 is necessary to achieve a uniform population in the neighborhoods. Currently, the population distribution ranges from 3,000 to 11,000. Reorganizing the wards into 38 will result in a uniform population of approximately 5,000 in each of the wards, the petition states.