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Civic Ward modification row reaches Bombay High Court

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Petitioner says the grounds on which MCGM proposes the restructuring are flawed

Mumbai: The controversy over the ‘restructuring and modification’ civic Wards ahead of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) elections has reached the Bombay High Court with a Dadar-based man filing a writ petition, challenging the grounds for ‘delimiting’ the Wards.

It may be recalled that the civic body had restructured and modified all the Wards in the city.


The petition filed by Sanjay Bharankar has challenged the ‘legality, validity and propriety’ of the criteria set out by the civic body for revision/modification of geographical limits of municipal Wards ahead of the MCGM polls, scheduled to be held in 2017.

Pointing to the civic body elections held in 1992, the petition states, “The MCGM had increased the number of Wards from 221 to 227 before holding elections in 1992. This was done by the civic body in view of the increase in the population of citizens in Mumbai.”

The petition further states, “As per the road map set out by the civic body in its notification dated Octber 3, the proposed/intended bifurcation of the 227 wards, which would now stand revised only to the extent of ‘geographical boundaries’, does not include an increase or even a consideration of increase in the number of Wards.”

The civic body has proposed to increase the geographical limits of the Wards, thereby bringing larger population within a particular Ward. It doesn’t propose to increase the number of Wards, which would mean ensuring effective administration as was originally contemplated by the Constitution of India, the petition reads.

The petition states that the criteria adopted by the civic body for modifications of the geographical boundaries of the existing 227 Wards on the basis of 2011 census are ‘flawed’ as there is no mention of increasing the number of Wards, which was last done in 1992.

Urging the court to declare the civic body’s notification as ‘unconstitutional and bad-in-law, the petition says, “Neither the said notification nor the list of the Wards published on October 3 expresses the need or desire to keep the Wards as ‘Compact Areas’. Instead, it is proposing to do exactly the opposite by expanding the boundaries of existing Wards ‘without citing any valid reasons’.”

The petitioner has also sought increment in the number of Wards in proportion to the growth of population to date.

The petition is likely to be heard on Tuesday.

The civic body has proposed to increase the geographical limits of the Wards, thereby bringing larger population within a particular Ward

It doesn’t propose to increase the number of Wards, which would mean ensuring effective administration

The petitioner challenges the ‘legality, validity and propriety’ of the criteria set out by the civic body for modification of municipal Wards

The MCGM had increased the number of Wards from 221 to 227 before holding elections in 1992