Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday requesting him to postpone the scheduled 40-day long data collection for Census 2021 and upgrading of the national population register (NPR) starting April 1 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Patnaik in his letter has said that as per the Centre’s directive the states have been given a schedule of 45 days to complete the first phase for listing of houses, census and update of the NPR in 45 days between April 1 and September 30. It will also require close to 30 lakh trained enumerators to convey the survey. However, due to coronavirus, the survey cannot be conducted now as it will be difficult to train the officials involved in the process. Hence the project should be postponed, Patnaik has said.
Making a strong case for postponement of the scheduled Census, Patnaik has written: “As we are presently fighting against COVID-19 pandemic, all our machinery are directed towards containment of COVID-19. As mobilisation for Census and other concerned activities shall pose a great risk for field functionaries and people as well, I would rather suggest to you to postpone the scheduled Census and related activities in the country.”
Patnaik has also asked the central government to review the proposed census and take appropriate decisions in the interest of people.