Islamabad: The first phase of the sixth population census, which is taking place after 19 years, started on Wednesday in 63 districts of the country as all preparations have been finalized for the exercise.
16 districts of Punjab, 8 districts of Sindh, 14 districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), 15 district of Balochistan, five of Azad Jammu Kashmir (AJK) and five districts of Gilgit Baltistan will be included in the first phase of census.
All the logistics and staff has already been deployed in all those districts where census is to be conducted.
84,000 enumerators would collect data from about 168,120 census blocks across the country. The Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) has also reserved about 10 percent staff and supervisors, hence bringing the total staff for census to over 118,000.
200,000 army officials have also been engaged in the activity; one soldier would be attached with one numerator to avoid any any untoward circumstance.
Surveyors have started counting of buildings in all districts which will be completed in three days after which population census will be started.
The census, this time, will use ball pen instead of pencil.
The first phase of the exercise will end on April 15. The second phase will begin from April 25 which will be commenced in 88 districts and will end on May 25.
The census is considered vital for the accurate allocation of resources, tax collection, nomination of parliament representation, handling civic issues and evaluation of resources for infrastructure development.
Though the constitution demands to conduct census every ten years, census had not been commenced for 19 years in Pakistan.
The first census in Pakistan was conducted in 1951, the second in 1961, the third in 1972, the fourth in 1981 and the fifth was conducted in March 1998.
After long span, on March 15, 2017, the sixth census has been started.