ISLAMABAD/LAHORE/KARACHI/QUETTA/PESHAWAR: The first phase of sixth national housing and population census began across the country Wednesday after 19 years that will continue till 15th of next month. Strict security arrangements have been made to ensure incident free exercise.
In the first phase, the census is being conducted in sixteen districts of Punjab, eight districts of Sindh, fourteen districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, fifteen districts of Balochistan, five districts of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, five districts of Gilgit Baltistan and one agency of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).
The first phase would continue till April 15 in 63 districts across the country and one agency of FATA. The second phase will start from April 25 to May 25.
Housing census would be continued for three days while from March 18, population census will get start.
In Punjab, provincial Chief Statistician Arif Anwar has officially inaugurated the census by writing 001 on Punjab Assembly’s building. Deputy Speaker Sher Ali Gorchani was also present on the occasion.
The districts to be covered in Punjab during the first phase of census include Jhang, Chiniot, Faisalabad, Toba Tek Singh, Dera Ghazi Khan, Rajanpur, Layyah, Muzaffargarh, Lahore, Hafizabad, Narowal, Sialkot, Vehari, Bahawalpur, Pakpattan and Attock.
In Sindh, the census would be conducted in districts of Karachi West, Karachi South, Karachi East Korangi, Karachi Central, Malir, Hyderabad and Ghotki.
The districts to be covered in the first phase of the census in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa include Peshawar, Mardan, Swabi, Charsadda, Nowshera, Laki Marwat, Dera Ismail Khan, Hangu, Abbotabad, Haripur, Mansehra, Battagram, Turghar.
The districts to be covered in the first phase of the census in Balochistan include Awaran, Quetta, Lesbela, Dera Bughti, Kohlu, Musakhel, Washuq, Kharan, Kalat, Jafarabad, Naseerabad, Pishin, Noshki, Lehri.
For the census 2017, there are 365 charges in Karachi which are divided into 2401 circles. The circles have been further divided into 14550 blocks. In Lahore, there are 184 charges, 867 circles and 6,746 blocks for the census.
Chief Statistician Asif Bajwa inaugurated the process of census in Attock district on Wednesday.
Speaking on the occasion, he urged the people to enthusiastically participate in the Housing and Population Census.
“All arrangements have been put in place for the first phase of the census. The field staff has received the required material,” Chief Statistician Asif Bajwa .
He said as many as 118,000 enumerators from different departments, including the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), had been provided training. Moreover, 175,000 army personnel have also been deployed in the districts.
The army personnel, he said, would be involved in enumeration as well as providing security to the surveyors.
Asked about reservations expressed by some political parties over the conduct of the census, the chief statistician said he couldn’t stop anyone from issuing statements. “We will follow the agreed scheme,” he said.
The major concern raised over the conduct of the census is from three provinces — Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa — and related to internal migration. A similar concern has been voiced by temporarily displaced tribal people.
To a question about temporarily displaced persons and those living in shrines, the chief census commissioner said that one day has been exclusively reserved for the registration of these people.
On internal migration, he said people who had migrated from one province to another and stayed there for more than six months would be counted as part of the population of the host province.
If a family member does not have a CNIC, they can provide other forms of identification to prove their identity. In the extreme case of no member of a family having a CNIC, the family would still be enumerated.
The census is considered to be one of the basic elements for judicious distribution of resources, calculating representation in parliament, electoral processes, tax collection, tackling civic issues, including growing urbanisation, and evaluation of resources for infrastructure development.
Under the constitution, the government is bound to conduct census every 10 years.