Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Sep 14:

Odisha State Election Commission today held a meeting with the district level officials tasked with supervising panchayat polls to review the progress made so far.


According to a source, while preparations for the polls have already begun in 25 districts, no significant progress has been made in the remaining five districts that include Balasore, Nuapada, Bargarh, Kandhamal and Kalahandi.

Emphasis was laid on conducting polls successfully in the newly formed 603 panchayats. While 415 of the new panchayats fall under the 25 districts where works have begun, formation of new panchayats is subjudice in the remaining five districts.

According to Panchayat Officer of Angul district Ambarish Rath, decisions on the panchayat polls in the five districts will be taken only after the court gives its verdict.

As of now, there are 6211 panchayats in Odisha. With the creation of the 603 new panchayats, the total number will go up to 6814.

“Today we discussed on finalising the polling stations and filling up the vacancies before the polls,” said State Election Commission Secretary Rabindra Nath Sahu.

“As per latest information, 415 new panchayats have been formed in 25 districts. Since there are disputes over formation of new panchayats in some of the districts and the matter is subjudice, we are not able to take a decision on it now,” he added.

“Based on the decision of the State Election Commission, we are focusing on preparation of the grampanchayt wise electoral rolls,” said Panchayat Officer of Khurdha district Pareswar Pradhan speaking to reporters after the meeting.

Besides, the district level election officers presented data on the number of booths in each ward, delivery of ballot boxes and other essentials needed to carry out polling. The officials further deliberated on improvising techniques and taking precautionary measures to avoid issues faced during the previous polls.