Population census 2017 begins today

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Transgender also in count

Zahid Chaudrey

Islamabad

Long awaited 6th population and housing census on the direction of Supreme Court after 19 years starts this morning in sixty three districts across the country including Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Kashmir.
In the first phase, start wing from today, housing survey will be conducted in 63 districts and agencies of the country, which include 16 districts in Punjab, eight in Sindh, seven in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, seven agencies of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), 15 in Balochistan, and five each in Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan. In the second phase, to be begun from 25th of the next month, 21 each districts of Punjab and Sindh, 18 Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 17 in Balochistan, the Islamabad Capital Territory, and five each in Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan.
Talking to this correspondent, Asif Bajwa Chief Statistician said that “all arrangements have been finalized for the sixth housing and population census to be commenced from today. He said that President Mamnoon Hussain will inaugurate the head count in Karachi by filling the census form. He said the census will be conducted in two phases. Mr. Bajwa said, during first three days, census forms will be distributed and house will be marked with green pencil. He added that a Help Line 0800-57574 has been set up for any kind of information or report regarding the census process and asked the people to contact on this number if survey forms are not delivered at their homes. He said the census team will comprise of two person; one civil enumerator, while the other will be a military person.
To another question, the chief statistician said that Pakistan Army will ensure security of the drive, while police and local administration will also assist in this regard. Replying to a question about the prospects of census, he said the process helps the state allocating sufficient resources on the basis of correct number of its inhabitants. He said it also helps allocate seats in National Assembly and determination of quota for a particular region and the people.
According to details, the team will asked a person questions about head of the family and his relations with the family head, academic qualification, profession, and the property in which a family is residing. To a question all the information to be retrieved during census will be kept secret and no organization or individual will be allowed access to this. He said a fine and imprisonment will be awarded to those who provide wrong information to the census team. He urged the people to cooperate with the team and provide correct information for their own better future. Overseas Pakistanis are not included in the census process. He, however, said that Pakistani citizens staying abroad for less than six months will be included in the survey.
Bajwa added 86,842 blocks have been formed for the census process. 200,000 army personnel have been engaged for the exercise, they said adding one army soldier would be attached with one enumerator throughout the exercise and they would be provided proper security cover up by the Army.
Meanwhile, according a source, 46 billions forms which were printed in 2007 and 2008 will be utilized during this census. it is very important that the transgender have to marks their identity themselves in the form and no special gender column has been created for them in the form. “All the logistics and census staff have already been deployed in all these census districts to complete this important exercise in a transparent, smooth and secure atmosphere,” they added.
The districts to be covered in Punjab during the first phase include Jhang, Chiniot, Faisalabad, Toba Tek Singh, Dera Ghazi Khan, Rajanpur, Layyah, Muzaffargarh, Lahore, Hafizabad, Narowal, Sialkot, Vehari, Bahawalpur, Pakpattan and Attock, Likewise, in Sindh provinces, the head?count would be held in districts of Karachi West, Karachi South, Karachi East Korengi, Karachi Central, Malir, Hyderabad and Ghotki. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the districts to be covered in first phase of the census process include Peshawar, Mardan, Swabi,Charsadda, Nowshera, Laki Marwat, Dera Ismail Khan, Hangu,Abbotabad, Haripur, Mansehra, Battagram, Turghar and Orakzai Agency while In Balochistan the districts including Awaran, Quetta,Lesbela, Dera Bughti, Kohlu, Musakhel, Washuq, Kharan, Kalat, Jafarabad, Naseerabad, Pishin, Noshki, Lehri would be covered during the first phase.
In Azad Jammu and Kashmir, the first phase of census would be launched in Muzaffarabad, Bagh, Sudhnoti, Kotli and Bhimber. In Gilgit Baltistan, the census during the first phase would be conducted in Gilgit, Baltistan, Ghanche, Nagar and Ghizer districts.
During the second phase, the census exercise would be conducted in 88 districts all across the country, the sources added. The services of 84,000 enumerators would be utilized in collecting the data from about 168,120 census blocks across the country. The Bureau has reserved about ten percent staff and supervisors, hence bringing the total staff for census to over118,000 persons.

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