Census 2017: After two decades only half of Punjab ready

(By Imran Adnan) After a delay of 19 years, Pakistan is going to simultaneously start its sixth Population and Housing Census in 63 districts of the country, including 16 in Punjab, from Wednesday (today).

In Punjab, the first phase of the census will be conducted in Attock, Faisalabad, Jhang, Chiniot, Toba Tek Singh, Hafizabad, Sialkot, Narowal, Lahore, Pakpattan, Vehari, Dera Ghazi Khan, Layyah, Rajanpur, Muzaffargarh and Bahawalpur.

In the second phase, it will expand to Rawalpindi, Jhelum, Chakwal, Sargodha, Khushab, Bhakkar, Mianwali, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Mandi Bahauddin, Sheikhupura, Kasur, Nankana Sahib, Sahiwal, Okara, Multan, Khanewal, Rahim Yar Khan, Bahawalnagar and Lodhran.

For the exercise, 36 administrative districts of Punjab have been divided into 166 census districts, 1,561 census charges, 11,415 census circles and 86,842 census blocks. As many as 62,020 officials will participate in the provincial headcount exercise, including 166 district census officers, 1,719 charge superintendents, 12,559 circle supervisors and 47,742 enumerators.

Four administrative districts of Lahore have been divided into 19 census districts, 289 charges, 1,624 circles and 13,626 blocks.

As per the census calendar, a per block house listing will be conducted during the first three days between March 15 and March 17. Ten days per block (from March 18 to March 27) have been marked to fill up Form-2.

March 28 been announced as the enumeration date for the homeless population. Field documents will be retrieved and new census material will be issued for the second block between March 29 and March 30.

Rawalpindi division has been divided 32 census districts, 164 census charges, 1,164 census circles and 8,850 census blocks.

Four administrative districts of Sargodha division have been divided into 19 census districts, 139 census charges, 1,037 census circles and 6,996 census blocks. Faisalabad division is divided into 18 census districts, 201 census charges, 1,409 census circles and 11,034 census blocks.

Similarly, six districts of Gujranwala division has been divided into 23 census districts, 227 census charges, 1,859 census circles and 12,946 census blocks. Sahiwal division is divided into eight census districts, 85 census charges, 776 census circles and 6,155 census blocks.

Meanwhile, Multan division has been divided into 15 census districts, 140 census charges, 1,171 census circles and 9,433 census blocks.

Dera Ghazi Khan Division has been divided into 15 census districts, 138 census charges, 1,146 census circles and 8,490 census blocks. Bahawalpur division is divided into 17 census districts, 178 census charges, 1,229 census circles and 9,312 census blocks.

Field enumeration for the second block includes house listing between March 31 and April 2.

Form-2 will be filled between April 3 and April 12 and homeless people will be counted on April 13. Filled documents will be retrieved between April 14 and April 15.

The second phase of the census 2017 will start from April 25.  After independence in 1947, the first population count took place in 1951. The second was conducted in 1961 while the third census took place in 1972 instead of 1971 due to the political turmoil and the war with India.

The fourth census was conducted in March 1981 and the fifth, which was due in 1991, could not be held till March 1998 due to the political crisis. The sixth population census, which was due since 2008, is starting today.

Shehbaz reviews arrangements

A meeting was held at the Multan Corps Headquarters and presided over by Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif as well as Corps Commander Multan Lt Gen Sarfraz Sattar.

A detailed briefing over the arrangements for the sixth census was given to the participants. It was stated that all plans for the first phase had been completed.