Due to increase in population in towns in Karbi Anglong and West Karbi Anglong, delimitation will be carried out in town committees in the twin hill districts.
According to Karbi Anglong district (Constitution of Town Committees) (First Amendment) Rules, 2015, the assent of which was received from Assam Governor on January 19, 2018, a town committee ward should have a minimum of 1,000 voters and cannot exceed 5,000 voters.
Due to this, Diphu Town Committee five wards will be affected by delimitation and another ward may also be affected due to adjustment. The wards under Diphu Town Committee in which delimitation is being carried out are Ward No III, IV, V, VI and VIII.
However, there is a tussle between officials and the ruling party due to which there is a disagreement regarding delimitation of Ward No 3. The ruling party, BJP, is in favour of dividing Ward No III, but officials are for absorbing a part of Ward no III into Ward No II.
The ruling party favours early election due to the coming monsoon rain.
As of now there are 10 wards under Diphu Town Committee. As the delimitation is under progress, so in case the delimitation is implemented, there will be 14 to 15 wards depending on the outcome regarding the fate of Ward No III.
After the documentation and completion of all the formalities, the Executive Committee of Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (KAAC) will have to give its approval and then the assent of the Assam Governor will have to be obtained.
Sources said the process of delimitation is getting slow and the election to the town committees in the twin hill districts of Karbi Anglong will likely to be held in the month of June but may be pushed back by three months. The Executive Member (EM) in charge of Town and Country Planning and Town Committee Affairs of KAAC, Ratan Teron, confirmed that the delimitation process is under way.
Teron said, “Due to delimitation process, the election (to town committees in the districts) will be a little late. As the process is completed, we will have to seek the approval of the Governor. The present 10 wards (under Diphu Town Committee) have the approval of the Governor. The elections may even reach September but it all depends on the pace of work,” adding, “However, we are doing our ground work here and getting ready for it (election). After we get the approval of the Governor we can hit the ground.”
In Karbi Anglong, there are six town committees, i.e., Bokajan, Diphu, Bakalia, Langhin, Howraghat and Dokmoka and there are two town committees in West Karbi Anglong, i.e., Dongkamukam and Hamren.
Efforts are underway to declare Baithalangso in West Karbi Anglong district a town and if that succeeds there will be nine town committees in all.
According to the Karbi Anglong District (Constitution of Town Committees) (First Amendment) Rules, 2015 the period of a town committee has been extended to five years. The Chairman of a town committee can be removed by a ‘no confidence’ motion if the Ward Commissioners do not have confidence in him/her. Earlier, the practice is that the Chairman of a town committee stayed or was removed by powerful political bosses in the district with disregard to the Ward Commissioners.