PUNE: The State Election Commission (SEC) late on Friday published the final ward structure that shows that 32 wards under the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) limits have seen changes after suggestions and objections in the draft structure. With this, most senior political leaders have secured their territories ahead of the civic elections. The SEC earlier this week once again set the ball rolling for municipal polls by issuing fresh notification after the Supreme Court (SC) cleared the way for polls.
With the final ward structure out, it is clear that 57 out of total 58 wards will elect three members while one ward will elect two members. “Under Section 5 of the Maharashtra Municipal Corporation Act 1949, the number of elected representatives in PMC has been fixed to 173,” stated the notification issued by UPS Madan, state election commissioner.
The SEC announced the ward structure four days before the May 17 deadline. Earlier on May 4, the Supreme Court had instructed the state election commission to start the process for municipal election without waiting for Other Backward Class (OBC) reservation and asked to publish ward structures for the same within two weeks.
With SEC publishing the final draft composition, it has paved way for civic elections in Pune where PMC will now have 173 elected members.
SEC has 10 municipal corporations to publish final ward structure by May 17. As the suggestion and objection process of draft wards was completed, PMC along with other municipal corporations published the ward structures.
The PMC commissioner, who is also the election officer, had made changes in 32 wards of 58 as compared to draft ward structures.
As per the final structure, Yerawada with a population of 71,390 will be the largest electoral ward in the city, while Baner-Sus-Mhalunge with 31,869 electorate will be the smallest among the 58 electoral wards in PMC as per the 2011 census.
During the hearing, there were many objections for Baner-Sus ward as it made smallest two-member ward but the SEC retained the strength. There were objections on other draft ward structures, mainly from the BJP leaders.
The objections were mainly for boundaries of wards and some areas divided partially in various segments. Some objections were for not considering natural boundaries like nullah or canals, and roads. Some elected members objected over the name of wards. SEC considered the suggestions and objections and made 32 changes in the final ward structures.
Meanwhile, BJP leader Ujjwal Keskar has filed a PIL in the Bombay High Court seeking a stay on publishing of ward structure.
“We have filed the PIL in the high court and appealed not to publish ward structure till May 17 as our hearing is on the same day. But before the hearing, SEC published the final ward structures.”
Changes made in following wards
Bopodi-SPPU, Aundh -Balewadi, Baner-Sus, Pashan-Bavdhan, Panchwati-Gokhalenagar, FC college-Erandwane, Magarpatta, Hadapsar, Kelewadi, Bavdhan-Mahatma Society. Khadakwasla.
Political workers said on condition of anonymity that changes are mainly to facilitate strong leaders. According to them, the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) accepted the changes suggested by the BJP leaders like former mayor Murlidhar Mohol and Ganesh Bidkar, and even the Congress leaders, but common workers’ requests were not entertained by the administration.
58: Total wards
57: 3-member wards
1: 2-member ward
32: Wards that saw changes
173: Total members