Chandigarh, April 15
The census operations in the city began here this morning with the enumeration of the Advisor to the UT Administrator, Pradeep Mehra.Keeping in view that the Union Territory has a large number of working couples, census officials started their day as early as 7.30 am.

Although it was the first day of the census operations, officials got warm response the city residents. “Wherever we knocked at the door, we got warm reception,” said a census official.

Apart from officials from the census department, around 600 schoolteachers have also been deputed for the job. Census supervisor Manjit Kaur, who was deputed at Sector 39, said people had been very cooperative and supportive. “We have asking people to furnish accurate and information since it holds the key to future policy planning,’ she said.

While the advanced trends will be known in the due course, census officials said that they found residents of the city to be well aware about the census operations. “Otherwise it is difficult to knock at peoples doors and inquire about various details from them,” said A Parshad, a census official.

However, Ashish Batra, a retired professor of Economics from Panjab University, warned that mistakes could creep in despite the best efforts of the census staff.

“Uneducated people in villages never know their age correctly. It is never a 51, it’s always 50 or 55,” he said.

SP Wahi, another retired professor, said the new population registry would provide a valuable database.

“For instance, in case of a natural disaster, one will be able to know how many people were living at a place before the catastrophe. It will be a compilation of useful information enabling proper governance," he said.

However, some of the teachers deputed for census duty had some grievances that they were being asked to report for their regular duty in schools after performing their census duty. One of the teachers said they found it very difficult to move around, knock at people’s doors and then report back for their teaching assignments.

Bindhyeshwari Negi, Director-cum-Principal Census Commissioner of Chandigarh, said she would take up the issue with the Deputy Commissioner and the DPI (Schools) so that the teachers on census duty were not asked to report for their teaching assignments. 

Source: Anil Jerath Tribune News Service