By: Ibni Maqbool
Srinagar: In a significant move, the administration of J&K on Tuesday ordered freezing of boundaries of administrative units in the Union Territory from December 31, 2021 till completion of census exercise.
The UT’s Planning Development and Monitoring Department today issued a notification to freeze boundaries in J&K to facilitate conduct of census-2021.
“In exercise of powers conferred by clause(IV) of rule 8 of the Census Rules, 1900 and in suppression of earlier notification issued in this behalf, the government hereby freezes the boundaries of districts/ tehsils, municipalities/ towns, revenue villages and other administrative units in the whole Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir w.e.f 3Ist December 2021 till completion of census 2021,” read the notification issued by secretary, Planning Development and Monitoring department, a copy of which is lying with The Precious Kashmir
The notification has been issued as states and UTs cannot create new administrative units or change their boundaries when census exercise is underway.
Under the Census Act -1948, all states and UTs have to issue notifications for freezing boundaries of administrative units. “The state governments and Union Territory administrations shall freeze the administrative boundaries of districts, tehsils, towns etc. from the date to be intimated by the Census commissioner which shall not be earlier than one year from the census reference date till completion of the census,” read the law governing conduct of census.
It is worthwhile to mention that the Union Home Ministry last month told the Parliament that census 2021 has been postponed indefinitely. The massive exercise came to a grinding halt due to the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic. The exercise was to be conducted in two phases, with the housing census from April to September 2020 and population enumeration from February 9, 2021.