In what is seen as the first step towards holding the much-delayed elections to the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation, the State government has issued a GO fixing the number of wards at 81.
The GO issued on Wednesday by the Municipal Administration and Urban Development Department takes the population of GVMC according to 2011 census and those of Anakapalle, Bheemunipatnam and five gram panchayats merged in GVMC together for fixing the wards at 81. GVMC presently comprises 72 wards.
As per 2011 census, the population of GVMC is 17,30,320, Anakapalle 86,612, Bheemunipatnam 54,865 and five gram panchayats 9,889 taking the total to 18,81,686.
Based on a proposal submitted by the Commissioner, GVMC, the GO fixes 63 wards for the first 10,00,000 population and 18 for the remaining at the rate of 50,000 for each ward.
“With the GO issued, wards have to be formed by considering the natural and geographical boundaries,” said sources in GVMC.
“Further instructions will come from the Director (Municipal Administration) based on which we will go ahead,” Municipal Commissioner M Hari Narayanan said.
However, the fixing of boundaries by following the due process after the government issues orders will take a few months. After that reservation of wards has to be done. All this will take a few months of time, says former MLA Tyanala Vijaya Kumar who was a corporator before being elected to the Assembly.
Elections were last held in 2007 after forming GVMC merging the outskirts and taking the number of wards from 50 to 72.
In July 2013, the government issued orders merging Anakapalle, Bheemunipatnam and the 10 gram panchayats in GVMC.
Cases filed in High Court opposing the merger of Bheemunipatnam are still pending. However, elections were held to the five panchayats in Bheemili mandal following a court order.